Former Shinsei chef and Top Chef cheftestant Casey Thompson has spent the last two years traveling Southern California learning all there is to know about wine, California farm foods, and how to pair the two. She’s finally made her way back to Texas to open a project that’s been in the works for over a year, a Southern-inspired restaurant she’s dubbed Brownstone. It doesn’t officially open until Friday, but I got the deets on the new eatery last Saturday night at the grand opening celebration. Jump for more.
It seems people were excited to welcome her back to Texas – the place was packed Saturday night. There wasn’t an empty seat on the outside patio and there was barely enough room to move around inside. Guests snacked on bite-sized snacks such as chicken potpies, fried chicken tenders, and roasted beet hummus. The cocktail of choice was “The Brownstone,” a mixture of rum, triple sec, pineapple juice, and champagne, complete with an apricot garnish.
Casey called it a “Texas regional eatery,” meaning most of her ingredients will be organic and sourced from local farms. The aforementioned hors d’oeuvres were all samplings from the Southern-inspired menu.
Given the name Brownstone, I expected the restaurant to resemble Carrie’s famous stoop on Sex and the City, tucked away in a charming little neighborhood. Instead, it’s located in a new Fort Worth urban development, which has a feel similar to Dallas’ Park Lane. Casey chose the name because she wanted it to feel like an “upscale family environment with a neighborhood feel.” Although the outside didn’t exactly resemble a traditional brownstone, the interior, complete with cream-colored walls, dark wood bookcases, and brick accents, seemed to fit her vision perfectly.
She chose Fort Worth for its charm and character. “It’s really starting to shine,” she said. The real question is whether Forth Worth will be her permanent home. It sounds like she’s going to split her time between Texas and Cali – she has an apartment in both places. While she’s dedicated to the restaurant here, she wants to continue her wine education in Cali and hopes to eventually open a second restaurant there.