Where Chef Blaine Staniford Gets Tacos, Ramen and Oysters in Fort Worth
When he’s not at 61 Osteria, here are his favorite spots around town
Fort Worth’s food scene has welcomed several exciting restaurants in the past few months, including 61 Osteria, an Italian spot by Adam Jones and executive chef Blaine Staniford. This is their third project together following perennial fine-dining favorite Grace and the more casual Little Red Wasp. The new venture serves a traditional Italian menu that incorporates seasonal Texas ingredients, with house-cured salumi, handmade pastas, black sea bass and a 28-ounce Bistecca Fiorentina, and the wine list emphasizes Italian producers.
Chef Staniford got his start at acclaimed restaurants in New York and San Francisco before returning to DFW, where he was raised, and he’s helmed the kitchen at Grace since it opened in 2008. Now with 61 Osteria up and running, he’s plenty busy, but the man’s got to eat. And considering he knows quite a lot more about food than most of us can ever hope to, he’s a great resource for where to do so in Fort Worth. Below, he shares his favorite stops for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as midday snacks and nightcaps.
Whether breakfast is really the most important meal of the day is debatable, but there’s no question that chilaquiles are one of the morning’s most important food groups. Staniford gets his fix at Righteous Foods, calling it “a must for Green Egg Chilaquiles & Ham.” If he wants to switch it up, he’ll get the eggs Benedict with piquillo hollandaise.
When Staniford’s out to lunch, he likes to score a warming bowl from Kintaro Ramen. “The ramen made by Jesus Garcia is the best in town,” he says. We’re inclined to believe him.
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Read any fitness magazine, and it’ll tell you that a handful of almonds is a reasonable afternoon snack. Nonsense. Tacos are clearly the better choice. “Snacks are from Calisience for Tacos Dorado and Birria,” says Staniford. “They’re some of the best I’ve ever had.”
Chefs don’t get a lot of free nights, so when Staniford goes out for dinner, he makes it count. “I love the consistency of Pacific Table, and their raw oyster program is always on point.” He also suggests James Beard Best New Restaurant nominee Don Artemio for the goat, fried cactus (served with fresh tortillas) and mezcal cocktails.
When it’s time for a relaxing drink, Staniford usually chooses wine. And when you want to do the same, he’s got two recommendations at the ready. “Since I don’t drink much actual hard alcohol, it would be The Holly wine bar and Magnolia Wine Bar. Both are great!”
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