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Photo by Fort Worth Weekly
Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall, 122 E Exchange Av, Ste 200, FW. 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat.

The Stockyards are lit. On a recent frigid night, large crowds of revelers (most with frosty beers in hand) sauntered to and fro under the historic Northside district’s brightly lit oak trees. Not eager to linger in the cold, my guest and I darted inside Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall for warmth and to place our names on the waiting list for dinner. With about 40 minutes to kill, we perched at a longish bar inside as a singer-songwriter strummed away nearby.

Revelers packed Mule Alley on a recent weekend evening.
Photo by Edward Brown.

The new establishment is part of an always growing portfolio of destinations by Chef Tim Love, the restaurateur behind several award-winning concepts, including Stockyards favorites Caterina’s, Lonesome Dove, Love Shack, and Paloma Suerte. Unlike them, Tannahill’s is a major music hall that presents national, regional, and local acts. The 1,000-seat venue was hosting a show that evening, but we couldn’t hear any of it, a sign that the space is acoustically insulated to not infringe on non-concertgoers.

My first libation that evening, the Tumbleweed, was citrusy and light. The fizzy bright-red drink was heavy on strawberry flavor but, unfortunately, light on the bourbon. For $16, I was hoping for more of a buzz. I switched to beer only to find $8 Modelos at the bar but more reasonably priced ($6) cans of macrobeers at our table once we were seated.

Large cuts of top-quality sashimi livened up the seafood-heavy tostada.
Photo by Edward Brown.
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The first dish up, Tostada of Tuna, was a delicious if slightly salty medley of tuna, bacon, sliced jalapeños, diced cabbage, and thin cuts of carrots, all served on a large tostada slathered with guacamole. The real treats were the thick chunks of sashimi-quality raw fish.

The kitchen didn’t skimp on the mouthwatering crab in this dip.
Photo by Edward Brown.

The waiter recommended the smoked crab and green chile dip, and we obliged. Served on a wooden paddle, the appetizer appeared with a dozen pieces of grilled pita that were hot, chewy, and lightly charred. The generous lumps of crab and smoky bits of green chiles combined into pure seafood heaven.

The double cheeseburger exploded with flavor. The dry-aged beef patty was supremely tender, and the accoutrements (sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato, shaved red onions) added a nice complement in zest and texture to every bite. The accompanying small mountain of golden skinny fries were addictive, and the extra order of housemade potato chips, coated in a dense powder of chile seasoning, kept us coming back for more.

Although the noodles fell flat, the rich boar-based ragu was decadent.
Photo by Edward Brown.

The pappardelle, a semi-flat pasta similar to fettuccine, came bathed in a richly spiced ragu. The centerpiece of this main course was the meaty sauce with ground boar that was similar to beef in both flavor and texture. I learned that night that I’m not a fan of pappardelle, well-crafted as it may have been. The flat noodle was too supple and soon became lost in the sauce.

Tannahill’s, named after one of Love’s children, offers a respectable spread of familiar dishes and creative takes on classics. There’s plenty of space in the single sprawling room that holds dining tables, two bars, and lounge chairs, and the staff was prompt and polite throughout the evening. The music hall, which I’ll come back for, occupies a separate room to the north.

Customers can forgo the sticker shock of $16 cocktails by ordering drinks from the table, where cans are $6 apiece (the first time I’ve seen cheaper beverages set aside for diners only). After all, there are enough concertgoers on most nights to keep the Tumbleweeds rollin’.

 

Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall
Double cheeseburger $14
Housemade pappardelle $22
Tostada of Tuna $16
Smoked crab and green chile dip $16
Housemade potato chips $8
Tumbleweed $16

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