American Revelry, 279 W Hidden Creek Pkwy, Ste 1101, Burleson, 817-484-6553. 10am-10pm Sun, 11am-10pm Mon-Thu, 11am-11 Fri pm, 10am-11pm Sat. All major credit cards accepted.
BY LAURIE JAMES
If I told you Burleson houses an excellent upscale-casual restaurant where most everything is made in-house and there’s a real pastry chef, you’d be forgiven for your disbelief. But American Revelry, three exits south of the Tarrant County line, is worth the short road trip. The restaurant opened about three weeks ago and shows no signs of odd skips in the pace of service.
On a recent Saturday brunch visit, my table of three and a half ladies found that the lunch menu was off-limits until 2 p.m., and the children’s selections weren’t on offer, either. Initially disappointed, three of us dug into our mimosas (freshly squeezed grapefruit or orange juice) and flawlessly proportioned poinsettias and pondered.
The blueberry muffin basket was full of fresh, fist-sized lemon zest-kissed muffins crammed with Maine blueberries. The tops, crusted with coarse sugar, boasted a lovely, crunchy, caramel-y flavor. Then the apple fritters appeared, and the muffins were left in the dust. Golf ball-sized dollops of lightly sweetened batter laced with cinnamon and tiny apple chunks fresh from the fryer hit the table and were gone about as fast as they arrived. The fried dough with its dusting of powdered sugar was unbelievably light, and the salted caramel dipping sauce hit all the right apple and cinnamon notes.
Ordered as an appetizer (and to combat our heavily fried app choice), the house salad with huge slices of watermelon radish and a light vinaigrette was a fabulous palate cleanser. Sliced cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of smoked cheddar kept the spring mix interesting.
Corned beef hash – quartered new potatoes, a diced mirepoix of onion and al dente carrot and celery, and cubes of corned beef – looked gorgeous with two perfectly soft-cooked eggs on top. The subtle flavor of the veg was more pleasant than traditional red pepper, and it provided a delicate counterbalance to the pleasantly salty meat.
Shrimp and grits (one of a handful of lunch items offered at brunch) was the clear winner at our table. The plate was beautifully composed, with charred corn and tomatoes topping the generous serving of thick, chunky-chewy cheddar grits. Six large, plump shrimp were hiding through the dish alongside precisely chopped red and green peppers that didn’t overwhelm the shellfish or the starch. The crowning glory was a buttery, citrusy white wine cream sauce with bacon that was possibly the best thing I’ve tasted this year.
Stuffed sourdough French toast with more Maine blueberries packed into the middle in a cream filling and scattered around the top sounded absolutely heavenly, but the dish lost something in the execution. The thin bread looked more like a fried sandwich than actual French toast. If we hadn’t been so happy with the other items, the thin layer of cream in between the sweet toast and the wood-smoked bacon would probably have dazzled us.
You might remember Chef/Owner Eric O’Conner from Winslow’s Wine Café. Genial manager Christian Tahahn, who works the front of the house like a rockstar, worked stints at Lonesome Dove and HG Sply. Chef de Cuisine Eder Meza learned from the best at Waters: Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine and Tokyo Café.
American Revelry is more than just a few guys who worked in Fort Worth and moved south to dazzle the Johnson County locals. The restaurant is part of a lifestyle mega-complex similar to Clearfork. By spring, the back patio should be a great place to take in a show from the neighboring amphitheater (which is still under construction).
The presentation of every dish was magnificent –– quite literally a feast for the eyes.
Blueberry muffin basket $10
Apple fritters $10
Revelry salad $5
Shrimp and grits $25
Corned beef hash $13
Stuffed French toast $14
Brunch mimosas $5