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The Pig Pizza included crumbled Italian sausage, pancetta, and pepperoni. Photo by Lee Chastain.

The big news in the Fort Worth foodie-verse is that Waters: Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine (2901 Crockett St, 817-984-1110) is moving out of the West 7th development and headed to Sundance Square. I can’t say I blame the Bonnell decision makers. Imagine moving into a nice house in a developing area and then having to watch greedy developers hand over your neighborhood to frat boys, sorostitutes and Affliction shirt-clad douches one storefront at a time.

The West 7th area is also about to lose the outstanding Revolver Taco Lounge (2822 W 7th St, 817-820-0122). The authentic haute Mexican eatery is moving into the space on Forest Park Boulevard that once housed the beloved Sera Dining & Wine.

I have no doubt that two other restaurant owners are panting with excitement to move their new, slick concepts into the soon-to-be abandoned spaces. But I have a hard time believing they’ll be comparable to the places that left.

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Speaking of new restaurants replacing great ones –– it’s not all bad news in that neck of the Fort. Cork & Pig Tavern (2869 Crockett St, 817-759-9280) slid on into the building where AF&B used to be … and where I used to be so happy.

I had something of a psychotic break the first time I revisited the space, which still looks a lot like its former tenant. It was kind of like seeing some other family living in your best friend’s house. I blacked out, and when I came to, I was breathing into an empty brown bag, lying on the ground.

Is Pamela working the bar? Oh, and what are your oysters today,” I asked the hostess, while hyperventilating and pouring sweat.

Cork & Pig is the fourth restaurant in town by Chef Felipe Armenta, who is also the head spatula-wielder at The Tavern (2755 S Hulen St, 817-923-6200), Pacific Table (1600 S University Dr, Ste 601, 817-887-9995), and Press Café (4801 Edwards Ranch Rd, Ste 105, 817-570-6002). He owns two other iterations of Cork & Pig, one in Odessa and another in San Angelo. The map of Texas is like a game of culinary Monopoly to this guy. That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve to build a sprawling restaurant empire –– he does.

The Armenta menus are never too challenging, but they’re always an amazing mix of upscale comfort foods like deviled eggs and gussied-up chicken sandwiches with trendier dishes that rely on fresh ingredients and perfect execution from the kitchen.

On my recent lunch visit, my guest and I started with the cheddar bacon biscuits ($6) with a jam made from blueberries, cherries, Dublin Dr Pepper, and spiced rum. The biscuits were a little dry and uninspired, but one dollop of that delicious compote changed their complexion in an impressive way.

The ahi tuna burger ($15), with a silken, seared sushi-grade piece of fish topped with a piquant Asian slaw as colorful as a Jackson Pollack painting, plus avocado, served in a buttery brioche bun, was a kaleidoscopic mix of textures and spice. The Napa Valley pizza ($14), a mélange of wild mushrooms, Kalamata olives, kale, mozzarella, and garlic, was a wood-fired masterpiece. The crust crackled with dough bubbles and char marks on the perfectly cooked crust.

It’s going to take me some time to readjust to the Cork & Pig replacing one of my favorites, but at least there’s some hope for West 7th.

 

Contact Chow, Baby at chowbaby@fwweekly.com.

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