Editor's note: TheaterJones has a new bi-weekly feature, Dinner and a Show, in which we will pair a performing arts event in North Texas with a nearby restaurant, so you can make a night of your arts going. The restaurant reviews are written by Kelly Kirkendoll, a longtime North Texas public relations guru and food blogger who has the Kitchen Gone Rogue blog, where she writes about the local dining scene and shares recipes and other tips. The "show" part of this feature will be written by a TheaterJones arts writer. Look for this column every other Thursday.
A Midsummer Night's Dream from Ballet Frontier of Texas
8 p.m. April 12 and 2 p.m. April 13
Presented by Ballet Frontier of Texas
Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Scott Theatre, 1300 Gendy Street, Fort Worth
For tickets, click here
Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of the Bard's most popular works, and its mix of comedy and fantasy have enchanted composers and choreographers for centuries. Using Mendelssohn's famous music for the play, Ballet Frontier of Texas' Chung-Lin Tseng sets the work on the company's talented ensemble of pros and pre-professional dancers. It has two performances at the Scott Theatre in Fort Worth.
El Bolero at Crockett Row
Address: 2933 Crockett St. in Fort Worth
Sat 10am-11pm | Sun 10am-10pm
Brunch: 10am-3pm on the weekends
Happy Hour: weekdays 4-6pm
Parking: street parking or in the Crockett Row parking garage across the street (free if get parking ticket validated)
Distance from the show venue: 0.8 miles away
It’s still patio season, so we are seeking out and soaking up all the fair-weathered outdoor dining we can before spring suddenly gives way to summer’s swelter. For this week’s Dinner and a Show pairing, we picked another patio hot spot: the new El Bolero at Crockett Row in Fort Worth, just 0.8 miles from the W.E. Scott Theatre at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.
El Bolero, with three locations now, describes itself as an authentic, regional Mexican concept. The original is in the Dallas Design District. A second Dallas location (Fitzhugh) opened in late 2018, and the Fort Worth location just opened in mid-February. El Bolero is owned by Dallas-based Apheleia Restaurant Group (ARG), whose other establishments include Oak, Pakpao Thai Food and Merchant House.
If the weather is nice and seats are available, I highly recommend the patio area. Otherwise, any seat inside looks comfortable, with plenty of room between neighboring tables. And if you’re solo- or duo-dining, the row of bright yellow tufted chairs beckons you to belly up to the bar.
Chips and Salsa
A generous basket of crispy, fresh-tasting chips and two salsas (green and red) were delivered promptly to the table. The green salsa, which has a little avocado mixed in to make it creamier, was my favorite. It had more flavor and a little more kick than the red, smokier salsa. While both were flavorful, they weren’t particularly spicy.
The drink menu had so many appealing options, all created with house made, fresh-squeezed juices, that it took longer to decide on drinks than food. Options ranged from house, skinny and top shelf margaritas to sangria to a blood orange and ghost pepper mule to “the oilman” -- a specialty cocktail made with El Tesoro Reposado, Patron Citronge Orange, gold stars, gold salt rim, charred agave and gold rock candy. In the end, April’s margarita of the month won out – the Pineberry Rita. Made with Avion Silver tequila, lime juice, agave, muddled fresh pineapple and raspberries, then garnished with two raspberries and a pineapple toothpick, it was refreshing and not too sweet. My only regret is that I didn’t order two.
Guac with BACON
Typically, I’m a don’t-mess-with-my-traditional-guacamole kind of girl. However, I’m also a bacon-makes-anything-and-everything-better kind of girl. So, when I saw that I could add bacon to my guacamole, I hesitated. Bacon, of course, won out, although I was still skeptical until I actually tasted it. The fresh, creamy avocado, red onion, green pepper and lime mixed beautifully with the small, thick pieces of salty seasoned bacon. The crowning glories of the dish were the four or so bites of sweet cherry tomatoes. I could have eaten an entire plate of them.
Lobster tacos and lobster fajitas were surprising menu options, so I had to try one of them. I opted for the lobster tacos. The entrée included 3 small lobster tacos served with cilantro rice. Fresh, blue corn tortillas were topped with tempura lobster, agave ginger aioli, roasted corn pico and avocado. The first two bites of each taco were amazing, but then I ran out of the star of the show: the lightly battered succulent lobster. While the other ingredients were fresh and tasty, I really would have liked enough lobster for each bite of each taco. Next time, I’ll try the lobster fajitas (FYI - they’re half price for lunch on Fridays!). Tip: if you need a little more heat on your tacos (like me), try adding some of the salsa to them; it added a little kick and balanced out the sweetness of the lobster and roasted corn.
Service and Atmosphere
The space itself at El Bolero is a treat, with bold décor choices and attention to details, including beautiful black and white tiled floors, carved wood doors, fun and funky wallpaper, yellow bar stools and bright little cactus pots on each table. It’s a fun, inviting spot, and the service was attentive and friendly.
» View more pictures from El Bolero by clicking the slideshow icon in the floating menu at the lower left of your screen
» You can also read Kelly's review of El Bolero on her blog, Kitchen Gone Rogue, which has additional photos.