Get Out of Town: Five Restaurants Worth the Road Trip

The Michelin Guide was created by the founders of Michelin Tires in 1900 to promote the demand for cars, thereby increasing tire sales. The guide originated in France and provided drivers with maps, suggested places to visit, dine, explore, and even get their cars serviced. There were only 3,000 cars on the road back then in France, roughly the same amount that can be found at Highland Park Village on any given Saturday.

Michelin does not review Texas restaurants

I’m no Michelin Guide, but I do have a spare tire and I can suggest five really amazing restaurants that are outside of Park Cities and Preston Hollow but are very much worth the drive.

  1. 61 Osteria – Fort Worth
  2. Don Artemio – Fort Worth
  3. Roots Southern Table – Farmer’s Branch
  4. Suburban Yacht Club – Plano
  5. Sugar Bacon Proper Kitchen – McKinney

61 Osteria
Yes, Dallas has some very legit Italian food, but so does Fort Worth.  61 Osteria serves Italian food through a very sophisticated lens in a modern, elegant space with sky-high ceilings in downtown Fort Worth.  Chef Blaine Staniford and his culinary team create elevated Italian with a “Texas Twist.”

The pastas are made in-house and include ubiquitous dishes like Cacio e Pepe and Bolognese, but also those a bit out of the ordinary, such as Serpente, which completely rocked my world. It’s a lemony ricotta stuffed pasta with hen of the wood mushrooms and a light broth. The wood-grilled prawns and veal chop Marsala are also must-order items.

Serpente PHOTO: Kathy Tran

61 Osteria has a lovely bar, so arrive 45 minutes before your reservation to enjoy an aperitif or cocktail. It is open for dinner seven days a week, lunch Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

i500 West 7th Street Fort Worth

Don Artemio
Fort Worth has attracted outposts of two Mexico-based fine dining restaurants, Don Artemio from Saltillo, and Quince, from San Miguel de Allende.  While Quince is lovely and serves fine food and sushi, Don Artemio is traditional Mexican food, specifically from northeast Mexico. Don Artemio’s food is a modern expression of tens of thousands of years of culinary conventions, heritage, preparation methods, and ingredients.

Tuna Tartare at Don Artemio PHOTO: Courtesy

The menu has shareables such as mussels cooked in a creamy chipotle sauce, guacamole, and a gorgeous tuna tartare with avocado mousse. Main dishes are protein focused with cabrito, beef, and fish options, including a magnificent sea bass in mole negro. Every item on the menu is beautiful to behold and outrageously delicious.

Don Artemio’s space transports you from Cowtown to Mexico with handmade bricks and loomed textiles.  The architecture and design are replicated from Don Artemio’s original location in Saltillo.  Dining here is a comprehensive sensorial experience and well worth the drive. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
3768 West 7th Street Fort Worth

Roots Southern Table
Despite a mere 20 minute drive from our neighborhoods, this little corner of Farmer’s Branch feels very different.  It’s old, first settled in the early 1850s, yet new, with a red-bricked development within the Mustang Station Arts and Culture District that includes a brewery, a grocery store, more restaurants, and luxury living. Chef Tiffany Derry is the creator, co-owner, and chef at Roots Southern Table and fills a huge gap in North Texas for elevated southern cuisine.

Tiffany spends a lot of time on Food Network, Bravo, and PBS as a competitor and judge for various shows.  She’s busy but in the kitchen cooking alongside her exceptional team more often than not.  Her take on southern classics includes duck and foie gras boudin, sea scallops with ricotta ravioli, Texas corn and yellow curry, and a wild Alaskan halibut that is melt-in-your-mouth good. Her signature dishes are duck-fat fried chicken and her mom’s gumbo, both outstanding.

A great wine list, innovative cocktails, and wildly good desserts round out the experience beautifully. Roots Southern Table also hosts special events and wine dinners. Follow them on social or sign up for their emails. Open daily for dinner.
13050 Bee Street Ste. 160 Farmer’s Branch

Suburban Yacht Club
This is a lively, fun restaurant featuring southern Southern California/Baja cuisine created by the incredibly talented team led by Chef Brian Luscher, formerly of the Grape, and Chef Daniel Pittman, formerly of LUCK.  SYC is one of several concepts created and owned by 33 Restaurant Group, several of which, like SYC and its neighbor Union Bear are at The Boardwalk at Granite Park in Plano. The Boardwalk is a fun destination and not a far drive.

Suburban Yacht Club has the best fish tacos around. The Baja beer battered fish and crispy soft shell crab tacos are must-order items. The green curry salmon, California classic burrito, and the TJ Caesar are also worth the trip. The vibe here is really fun, with lots of pink and green decorations and fun cocktails with a beachy twist; great to enjoy on the adjacent boardwalk when it’s not so hot.
5872 State Hwy. 121 Ste. 104 Plano

Sugar Bacon Proper Kitchen
Historic downtown McKinney is a legit weekend destination.  I personally think it’s a bit far for dinner, even though there are great options, but exploring downtown McKinney’s shops on Saturday or Sunday and having weekend brunch at Sugar Bacon Proper Kitchen is a fabulous getaway.

Sugar Bacon PHOTO: Courtesy

The restaurant is housed in a former service station, so there’s a great, classic feel throughout with exposed brick, wood, and filament lighting.  The menu sways southern. Chicken and waffles, crab eggs benedict, and the short rib omelet are better than other offerings of similar dishes elsewhere.  The most ridiculous (in a good way) bite of food is the signature dish, sugar bacon.  The crispy pork belly has a brown sugar glaze, watermelon chutney, BBQ sauce, and serrano peppers.  No words. If you have room for dessert, there is a chocolate chip bread pudding made with sourdough bread that will make you very glad you used all that gas to get to McKinney. Open for brunch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 216 W. Virginia Street, #101 McKinney

School and sports are starting up again, but there are still loads of locals who have time to spread out and enjoy great restaurants throughout the region.

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Kersten Rettig

Kersten Rettig is the only DFW Food/Travel writer with luxury hospitality leadership experience and a former restaurant owner, employee, and chief marketing officer. Kersten's worked on the inside and has the insight and experience to tell the stories to the outside. She's a Park Cities resident, mom, wife and a decent cook. Follow her on Instagram @KerstenEats.

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