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Executive chef Jordan Ray delivers a 16-oz. rib-eye finished in a 900-degree pizza oven, topped with truffle-saffron butter and accompanied by a jalapeño grit cake and grilled asparagus. Vishal Malhotra
Executive chef Jordan Ray delivers a 16-oz. rib-eye finished in a 900-degree pizza oven, topped with truffle-saffron butter and accompanied by a jalapeño grit cake and grilled asparagus. Vishal Malhotra

Fish Creek didn’t always serve wood-fired artisan pizzas and prime steaks along with its seafood. Before taking over in 2009, owner Joe Lane worked for nearly a decade at various Fort Worth seafood restaurants. While some remnants of the formerly struggling eatery remain, Lane has steadily expanded the menu to meet the blooming palates of Aledo diners.

Fish Creek is clean and spacious, the walls’ beige stonework adorned with marine-life art, including a large marlin. The high ceilings don’t exactly shout “intimate dining,” though, and a few of the tables looked kind of roughed up. Out back is a gorgeous stone patio surrounded by light-colored brickwork and outfitted with a large fireplace.

Fish Creek offers several reasonably priced and upscale-sounding starters, including fondue, crab wontons, and jalapeños stuffed with andouille sausage and cheese. There also are the Grogan’s Drummies: five golden, French-cut drumsticks lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, and a hint of chile powder, broiled to crispy perfection and served with two house-made dipping sauces. The bird was soft and juicy and didn’t have any of the oiliness that typically comes with deep frying. The mild, creamy blue cheese sauce complemented the chicken better than the spicy and somewhat watery chipotle sauce.

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The tenderloin pesto pizza entrée could also make a great appetizer for dinner parties. The flavors of capers, parmesan cheese, and strong, peppery pesto sauce livened up the milder mozzarella, tomato slices, and chunks of unseasoned yet oh-so-tender grilled beef. Fish Creek’s wood-fired oven, inherited from the previous occupants, worked its magic on the crust, leaving it lightly charred on the outside and soft, hot, and chewy inside.

Chelsea’s Stuffed Tilapia is one of several seafood-centric items here. A large blackened fillet served over a bed of herb-infused crab stuffing, topped with bits of crawfish and sautéed spinach, and covered in a white wine sauce, the dish was simple but potent. The fish was fresh and mild, with just enough cumin and paprika to make each bite pop. The sides –– al dente brown rice and mixed veggies –– were thankfully plentiful enough to soak up the lip-puckeringly salty sauce.

Fish Creek does dessert well. Generously coated with a clear sugar glaze, the chewy, cinnamon-infused bread pudding was about as big as a red brick and studded with raisins and bits of peaches. Talk about sweet and dense. You may want to attack this monster in only three or four bites per sitting.

The server was attentive throughout the meal and, while carefully packaging the leftovers, explained how to reheat them so that they wouldn’t turn into mush.

 

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Fish Creek, 4899 I-20 Frontage Road, Willow Park. 817-441-1746. 12-10pm Sat, 11am-9pm Sun-Thu, 11am-10pm Fri.

All major credit cards accepted.

Grogan’s Drummies (half order)……………………. $6

Chelsea’s Stuffed Tilapia (half order)…………….. $13

Tenderloin pesto pizza………………………………… $14

Bread pudding……………………………………………. $7

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