Tables at fine-dining restaurants are known for their fancy white-linen outfits, unlike tables in home kitchens, which are notorious for going nude. Dress up for a nice meal with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of upscale bistro cuisine at Zambrano Wine Cellar.
Praised by Fort Worth, Texas magazine for his ever-evolving menu, owner Cef Zambrano breaks from rubbing shoulders with the stars to adorn tables with house-made gourmet pizzas and artisanal meats and cheeses. Crusts bubble up around Spanish ham, pepperoni, artichoke hearts, and veggies sprinkled across the signature pizza ($22) like campers’ backpacks across a messy bear’s cave. Double-cream brie plates sporting soft French cheese ($6) pass over dishes blanketed with succulent morsels of Raisin River smoked duck ($6). Diners plunge forks through a pool of lemon-dill sauce to spear seared salmon, served with mounds of mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables ($20).
Soft light fans out across an amethyst bar and exposed brick inside the candlelit eatery. Gauzy orange curtains flutter near high-backed leather banquettes and floral centerpieces while patio diners chow down and enjoy fresh breezes and the absence of noisy fax machines.
Zambrano Wine Cellar
More than 325 bottles of international wine fill Zambrano Wine Cellar’s shelves and its climate-controlled wine cellar, arranged by chef, wine enthusiast, and owner Cef Zambrano. When not hobnobbing with celebrities such as Harrison Ford, Nolan Ryan, and Katie Couric, Zambrano coordinates a menu of bistro fare to harmonize with his library of wine selections, which received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2009. Zambrano presents updated takes on Mediterranean favorites, crafting small plates of escargot broiled in garlic butter and shallots, as well as four types of bruschetta topped with tomato, chicken, duck, or fillet tips. Diners can dive into shared nibbles with custom plates of international meats and cheeses or pizzas topped margherita-style or with signature spanish ham.
Zambrano’s prized glass wine cellar sits behind a smooth stone bar, inlaid with variegated amethyst that glows as it catches the light better than an outfielder with a magnifying glass. While perched at its high-backed leather banquettes, diners can sip from the 50-plus list of wines by the glass while gazing at a flat-screen TV in the corner or admiring the custom art on the dining room’s exposed-brick walls. In the front of the dining room, gauzy orange curtains frame sheets of sunlight that illuminate simple wooden tables, each adorned with a single flower that provides color and an amuse-bouche for hungrier guests. A sidewalk patio offers al fresco dining and bustling sights of Sundance Square.