The Back Room at Funky Picnic Brewery & Cafe, 401 Bryan Av, Ste 109, FW. 817-708-2739. 3-11 Fri-Sun.
Few local bars or breweries offer more family-friendly game nights and themed events than Funky Picnic Brewery & Cafe. On a recent afternoon, I was greeted by co-owner Samantha Glen wearing a head-to-toe narwhal costume. The day’s theme was “wear your onesie to work,” she told me with a laugh.
The Funky Picnic crew recently expanded to the adjacent former Black Cat Pizza building. Fans of Jaime Fernandez’s now-shuttered eatery will recognize the new space, which still has the same basic layout. The revamped restaurant called the Back Room at Funky Picnic has a Prohibition theme. Large photos plastered to the wall show protests against beer and cops dumping bootleg suds into the sewer. Given the speakeasy vibe, the imagery works.
The beer selection includes popular Funky Picnic brews and one-offs that are only available in the new cocktail lounge. I opted for the barleywine, a dense and boozy mix of raisin, berry, and molasses flavors.
One of several cocktails, the Trick or Treat Martini was a delight to behold and sip. The glass came dressed with Hershey’s syrup and crushed graham crackers along the rim. Crowning the concoction was a fire-roasted marshmallow. The libation was silky smooth and rich, like a straight pour of Irish cream but with a heavier chocolate and peanut butter profile.
As with Black Cat Pizza, the centerpiece of the new spot is the large brick oven. The menu offers Italian-inspired fare like spinach dip, Caprese salad, and smoked tomatoes in addition to various pizzas.
I started with two appetizers, the house ricotta and stuffed dates. Long pieces of toasted cornicione bread came out hot, charred, and chewy and were topped with salt and bits of rosemary that enlivened the generous mound of creamy cheese. Every bite of the stuffed dates was loaded with pungent flavor. Funky blue cheese defined much of the experience sweetened by the dense fruit and drizzles of honey.
The steak pizza was topped with arugula and zigzags of reduced balsamic vinegar. Every slice was meticulously prepared with a sliver of lightly seasoned steak placed on a roasted cherry tomato. The dough was flavorful and lightly charred. The mix of mozzarella and blue cheese complemented the beef.
The next pie up was the Il Porco, in which the traditional tomato paste was replaced with red gravy that had a Cajun-spiced kick. The layers of soppressata, prosciutto, and capicola added an intense, salty, and slightly spicy kick. Another delight was the soppressata and mushroom pizza, which again featured a red gravy base and generous amounts of fungi for an earthy experience subtler than the meat-heavy ones.
The Back Room at Funky Picnic is adults-only. Keep in mind that the neighboring brewpub is super family-friendly with board games galore and menu options that would please the pickiest of eaters, who may or may not be into narwhal costumes. For group outings and date nights, the Back Room offers a quieter environment where you can still order a pint of the freshest and damn tastiest beer in town.
The Back Room
Trick or Treat Martini $12
House ricotta $10
Stuffed dates $9
Steak pizza $19
Il Porco $17
Soppressata and mushroom pizza $13