Fort Worth Serves Charitable Meals for Winter Restaurant Week
With nearly 360-degree views of the charming, tree-lined lane of Magnolia Avenue, Ellerbe Fine Foods’s front patio is the destination for an upscale yet homestyle dinner. The pair who struck this perfect balance are Richard King and Molly McCook, who have co-owned the fine dining restaurant since 2009. Their dishes are a slice of home offered on fine china, and for a limited time, you can experience their unique menu while benefiting Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB).
Winter Restaurant Week is an event organized by 360 West during which local restaurants craft fixed price three-course meals that donate a portion of the proceeds to local charities. This week of eating for a cause occurs each January, and in 2020 spans from January 6 to January 12. Some participating restaurants—like Ellerbe—have extended their special offers to the 12th or 19th so that you can experience a diverse taste of Fort Worth over the course of the month.
For the next two weeks, Ellerbe is serving up some of their prized cuisine to help raise money and awareness for hunger in and around Fort Worth. Ellerbe’s General Manager, King, was eager to join Winter Restaurant Week after he realized the need to help the hungry in this area. He said, “I guess we hide it pretty well, but it’s a bigger problem than I was aware of. And I’m in the business, which means I know the public knows probably 10% of what I know. So I think it’s our job to [get that] message [to] them.”
Who better to educate on the topic of local hunger than Ellerbe’s loyal customers? Since the establishment is a landmark of Magnolia Street over a decade old, they’ve curated a relationship with their regulars. King said, “We’re one of the pioneers of this street. I went to college here, and you did not come down this street in the ‘90s and in the early 2000s, so we’re really proud of being part of the south side. We love it over here. People who come here are almost family members because that’s how we designed the restaurant. We want people to feel like you’re not walking into a chain. You’re walking into a dining room.”
The atmosphere of the dining certainly matches King’s high praise. Alongside the charming atmosphere accentuated by massive windows, cozy lighting, and rustic yet modern décor, the delicious food only elevates the experience. Ever since King and McCook envisioned opening Ellerbe in 2008, their goal remained to offer a unique, homey meal while supporting local resources. King said, “The main thing Molly and I believe is you’ve got to support local. You have to, and that’s why I think Fort Worth is such a killer town. In Fort Worth, they support local.”
Ellerbe’s philosophy is that sourcing local food and products provides customers with the best experience, all while supporting local businesses as well. King said, “I tell people all the time, if you ever meet a farmer and shake his hand, you’ll understand why you should buy food from that person. Our hands are nice and clean and smooth and silky; theirs are all calloused and tan and worn because they work so hard for three bucks. And plus, food just tastes way better, it looks better, it smells better, the texture is better.”
Alongside supporting local growers, farmers, ranchers, and more, Ellerbe is dedicated to using food that’s in season to give customers authentic, seasonal dishes. King said, “We don’t really have four seasons in Texas, so Molly works with the cards she’s dealt. And our guests like that. They feel a part of that menu experience too.”
As far as menu experiences go, Ellerbe certainly goes beyond the ordinary to represent the locality of their food. King said, “One thing that we do that’s unique in Fort Worth is we put all of our farms and partners on our menu. So we don’t just say sweet potato soup, we have B&G, which is Ben and Greg, sweet potato soup. So that’s their farm, B&G Garden.”
Once again, showing the farms they procure food from on the menu represents who they give back to in the community in more ways than one. Beyond donating proceeds to TAFB and sourcing their ingredients locally, Ellerbe is also dedicated to reducing food waste. They fill tubs of compost so frequently that every two days, those bins are transported to assist food deserts in Texas.
Knowing how much your check will make a difference during this week, there’s no better time to sample Ellerbe’s ever-changing menu than with their options on the Winter Restaurant Week Menu. Until January 19, be sure to visit and enjoy your three-course meal, starting with your choice of a Gingered B&G Garden Sweet Potato Soup or Shines Farms Mixed Lettuces Salad. Next, dive into your choice of a reimagining of a classic cordon bleu, the Andouille & Cheddar Stuffed Chicken; a returning favorite and lighter option, the Lemon Herb Rainbow Trout; or their staple since 2009, the Chef’s Choice Steak with potatoes. Finally, don’t miss out on Ellerbe’s signature dessert, Molly’s grandmother’s recipe for Maw Maw’s Bread Pudding. Or, try the nostalgic Mississippi Mud Cake instead.
With all of these options for only $49, you’ll enjoy an evening of satisfaction while knowing that 15 percent of proceeds go directly to TAFB’s hunger relief efforts. For a full list of participating restaurants, click here. But if you’re searching for the perfect spot to take your family for a night out or host a celebration, or affirmation that your time and money are being spent to help your neighbors have access to nutritious meals, then look no further than Ellerbe Fine Foods.