Chow, Baby: Wednesday, September 1, 2004
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Easy Being Green

Usually when somebody emerges from the bathroom saying, “Smell my hand,” Chow, Baby politely declines. At Green Lantern, though, this was just a companion’s way of demonstrating that the zillion-shades-of-green motif—walls, ceiling, light bulbs— extends even to the minty hand lotion in the restrooms. Boy, this place is green. Interesting bit of trivia: Green Lantern’s cozy Cultural District cottage, at 3405 W. 7th St, was Fort Worth Weekly’s first home. The green covers the bloodstains nicely. Inkstains, Chow, Baby meant to say. Inkstains.

Owner/chef/decorator Mike Shaw’s obsessive attention to design detail extends to his Upscale American menu, which, as Chow, Baby understands the term, means basic meat/potato/veggie plates with very fancy sauces and very fancy price tags. On Chow, Baby’s visit, the meats were simply prepared, mostly steamed or grilled or sautéed; the potatoes were unfancily mashed; and the steamed asparagus and carrots gloried in their near-nakedness. But boy, those sauces. Chow, Baby wasn’t too proud to take a spoon to the velvety Dijon sauce that bathed its appetizer of sautéed Gulf shrimp ($7.75, and why oh why do people think it’s classy to leave the tail-shells on? Chow, Baby hates battling tail-shells) and then to the puddles of cilantro cream surrounding its companion’s roasted pork tamales ($5.50, with no husks, thank you). With dinner, fresh warm rolls were the perfect sponges for the incredible peppercorn-brandy sauce on the beef medallions ($21.95) and the tangy sage vinaigrette of the bacon-wrapped quail ($19.95 and supposedly “semi-boneless,” a vast overstatement).

The items that weren’t covered in sauce—servers, dessert, noisy too-close-together tables—weren’t nearly as satisfying. The waiter had the distracted air of one working on a screenplay in his head, and every time Chow, Baby asked for more rolls it seemed to be interrupting a crucial plot point. (“What? Huh? Oh. Yeah. Sure.”) The apple pie had lots of juice, so that was pretty good, but the alleged crème brûlée had, augh, no crispy cap to tap gleefully into shards, and the innards had no flavor other than sugar. Chow, Baby considered swiping some fresh mint sauce from the Screechy Suzies at the next table, but in the very rare periods of near-silence it could almost hear the ghostly moans of founding Weekly editor John Forsyth: “Shut up yourself, Chow, Baby — leave now, and make your deadline for once.”


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