Though nearly everything he touches turns to gold, Fort Worth chef Tim Love hit mere pewter with Duce, the high-end Euro bistro he opened last year on the west side of Fort Worth. Realizing that Duce’s unconventional menu of small plates served family style was confusing to diners, he recast it with a failsafe touch: steaks.
But this being Love, it’s a “modern” steakhouse. For example, rather than good old steamed asparagus, he served perfectly symmetrical spears, wrapped like a quiver of arrows in a slice of pancetta and topped with a picture-perfect sunny-side quail egg. Instead of mucky, clotted creamed spinach, he served escarole chopped into pieces and braised in butter, then sprinkled with grains of coarse salt.
And while he’ll happily sell you an obscene classic-steakhouse 24-ounce ribeye ($40, if you must know), he offers more civilized portions such as the 12-ouncer for $21. He’s also doing a hanger steak, a lower-priced cut and current chef favorite. He sliced it diagonally, which is absolutely the way to go, to maximize the contrast between the tender red center and the crunchy black crust.
Love hasn’t ditched his crazy-creative streak, evident in appetizers such as sirloin carpaccio, thin, chewy slices of red meat drizzled with chimichurri sauce and “shaved” South American salt; or sushi “ice cream cones” filled with tuna and smoked salmon, diced fine and sprinkled with paddlefish caviar. There’s plenty for stealth foodies to find. As for the rest, let them eat steak. Get contact information for Duce.
Update: Duce has closed.