Lonesome Dove Western Bistro didn’t make it in New York. Oh snap! But the luster hasn’t dimmed in Fort Worth’s Stockyards, where chef-owner Tim Love opened the original in 2000. He’s brought culinary credibility not just to the Stockyards but to the city, via appearances on the Food Network, the James Beard House, and the “best of Fort Worth” spot in Zagat’s 2005 survey. Since Star Canyon closed, the Dove stands as one of the area’s strongest expressions of high-end Texas-style dining, with steak and game, salsas and mole, and Texas quail quesadillas. That said, the lobster’s from Australia and the lamb from Colorado. Lonesome Dove is more about myth making than it is local ingredients. Tenderloin came stuffed with fragile dabs of soft, roasted garlic. Mellow butter lettuce got slathered with peppery cream dressing, then sprinkled with spiced pepitas and candied jalapeño that crackled like an electric shock. Appetizers went crazy on influences, reflecting Love’s ever-restless creativity: “Rosti” potato pancakes with rabbit-rattlesnake sausage, empanadas enclosing smoked rabbit, and warm, translucent scallops with a sweet corn sauce luscious enough to suck up with a straw. Desserts such as the warm ancho-chile chocolate cake with dark frosting satisfied deeply. The wine list was loaded with Napa big reds, magnums, and a separate list of showpiece bottles $300 and up. Love’s been busy—opening and selling Duce, launching his burger concept Love Shack—but nothing beats your first love.

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