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A downtown Fort Worth favorite is back to normal and adds fried chicken to the menu

June 10,2020

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Bud Kennedy here.

Pro golf is back this weekend.

Finally, so is downtown Fort Worth.

For the first time in nearly three months, restaurants such as Reata Restaurant will operate normally, with the addition of roomy seating to keep customers safely 6 feet apart.

Reata resumed its regular hours and serving its full menu this week, owner Mike Micallef said.

Valet parking is back. Wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners are booked in Reata’s carefully distanced banquet rooms.

(The restaurant has three floors for dining, plus a split-level rooftop patio, so there’s room to spread out.)

“I think we’re just all starting to come back to normal,” Micallef said.

It’s been slow downtown, he said — maybe slower than elsewhere in Fort Worth.

“People are sheltering at home or working from home. There’s not that many people living or working downtown,” he said.

Conventions return next week, following new state health orders allowing events but keeping guests separated.

“This thing [the coronavirus pandemic] is not going to go away for a year,” Micallef said.

Reata adjused by spacing tables further apart and adding partitions.

The lunch, brunch and dinner menus are back, featuring the restaurant’s signature dishes such as tenderloin tamales with pecan mash ($14) or carne asada topped with cheese enchiladas ($15 lunch, $29 dinner).

The citrus-crusted chicken or chicken-fried steak cost less than $20. The menu tops out with a blackened bison rib-eye ($53).

Lunch is cheaper than you might think. The midday menu has 13 choices for less than $15, plus a $27 tenderloin.

One of the newest lunches is Reata’s popular fried chicken with poblano-bacon grits ($13).

Weekend brunch costs $11-$16.

Some of Reata’s best customers haven’t come downtown in weeks, so the restaurant has gone to them.

Reata is sending a truck to outlying neighborhoods, delivering $36.95 dinners for four with dishes such as carne asada or green chicken enchiladas.

This weekend’s deliveries are Friday in Benbrook and Saturday in Mansfield (call 817-502-8851 or email

“It’s a way to keep contact and develop new customers,” Micallef said.

“The further out we go” — the truck went to Argyle on Wednesday — “the more people welcome us,” he said.

Reata also still has online ordering.

It’s very tempting to know that with a few taps on a smartphone, Reata can send out steaks, chicken or chiles rellenos plus Key lime cobbler with vanilla ice cream, chocolate bread-pudding tamales, pecan pie or molten chocolate cake.

Reata is open for lunch or brunch and dinner daily, taking a break now in midafternoon and closing earlier, about 8 or 9 p.m. depending on the night.

It’s at 310 Houston Street, Sundance Square; 817-336-1009,

Location Mentioned: Reata Restaurant