A Chat with Executive Chef Blaine Staniford of Fort Worth’s Grace
If you’ve never been to Fort Worth, you may be surprised by the healthy dining scene they have to offer visitors. The vibrant downtown scene is rife with art and music and theater and, yes, food. One little gem to be found there is Grace. With a modern and inviting space, attentive staff, and menu that makes it hard to decide just what to eat, Grace is yet another example of how Fort Worth is giving Dallas and other dining meccas a run for its money.
We asked Blaine Staniford, executive chef of Grace, to tell us more about what this creative dining venue has to offer.
The Daily Meal: How would you describe Grace?
Executive chef Blaine Staniford: A dining destination. We work really hard to put something amazing on the table without dressing it up too much. With four private dining rooms, an expansive dining room and a100-seat bar, Grace is a large restaurant with a team that’s dedicated to, and really pushing for excellence.
How would you characterize the menu?
Mostly modern American food, using ingredients and techniques from all over the world.
What are some of the menu favorites of diners at Grace?
Maine diver scallops with shallot potato cakes and American caviar butter sauce; Colorado lamb on cauliflower puree with a golden raisin chutney and capers; beef tartare with harissa aioli, bulb onions, quail egg, and chick pea chips; and our house-made charcuterie.
What’s your personal favorite dish on the menu?
Duroc pork collar with summer squash, Texas peach, mustard seeds, and eggplant puree.
Does the menu rotate?
Yes, we rotate the menu every few months, taking what’s in season and implementing it throughout the dinner menu all the way to the cocktail menu and bar. Grace is a large restaurant with a team that’s dedicated to, and really pushing for excellence.
What is the one thing that you think surprises people about Grace?
We’ve always been very seafood-driven here, and we import a lot of fish from the Brooklyn Seafood Market. We carry fish that you don’t see in other DFW restaurants and that you can’t go to your local grocer to find. When you get down to it we just love giving people an opportunity to try new things.
How does Grace advance the dining scene in Fort Worth?
Seven years ago when we first opened, for me to serve uni or squid ink pasta — I would have been laughed out of Fort Worth. Now we’re slowly seeing people start to find their palate. Today we can implement things like squid ink pasta but as accents to dishes that people are familiar with. We still have guests who want their rib-eye and potatoes, and we love to create it and see them happy. Over seven years, we’ve built a clientele that knows that we can do the best of both worlds.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Don’t be afraid to come from Dallas over to Fort Worth to visit — we’d love to take care of you.