Cafe Reviewed: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
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From left to right, Macís prime rib, shrimp chimichurri, grilled king salmon, filet mignon Oscar and scallops are just a small - and hearty and tasty - sampling of the new eateryís extensive menu.
Macís on Seventh
2600 W 7th St, in Montgomery Plaza, FW. 817-332-6227. 11am-10pm Mon-Thu, 11am-11pm Sat, 10am-2:30pm, 3-10pm Sun. All major credit cards accepted.
Smoked crab cakes $9.75
Grilled sea scallops $9.50
Mozzarella Caprese salad $7.50
Chicken enchilada soup $3.50
Shrimp po-boy $7.85
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
Mac Daddy

For steak and seafood with a casual Cajun twist, a new addition to Montgomery Plaza is welcome.

By LAURIE BARKER JAMES

In my South Arlington neighborhood, Macís Steaks and Seafood (or, as the signage says simply, Macís Grille) has been an institution for nearly two decades. Sunday brunches are so crowded you can barely breathe inside. So when the good folks behind Macís recently opened Macís on Seventh in the sprawling Montgomery Plaza by the Cultural District, I knew that Sundays in the West 7th Street corridor would never be the same.
So to avoid any rush, some guests and I went on a Saturday. The restaurant looks like a lot of the newer places downtown. Thereís a bar area by a large window that welcomes natural light, and thereís a patio with a half-dozen tables. Unfortunately, the view at Macís is limited to the other retail stores in Montgomery Plaza. Far more modern-looking than the Arlington location, on-Seventh mixes metal, dark wood, and bamboo, suggesting some sort of sushi joint. Ironically, sushi is perhaps the only food category you can imagine thatís not on the menu.
At noon, the restaurant was pleasantly uncrowded, although it filled up within the hour. Since on-Seventh just opened a couple of months ago, our server hadnít mastered the intricate menu, but she wasnít afraid to go to the kitchen for answers. In fairness, it could take years to memorize the mťlange of items on Macís bill of fare. Níawlins-style seafood, including gumbo, Cajun-spiced orange roughy, and ťtouffťe, plus the requisite po-boy sandwiches, mingle with steaks, pasta, burgers, and chicken.
So that you donít starve while trying to make up your mind, Macís starts you off with a chunk of crusty sourdough bread. Itís delicious, and you may be tempted to get seconds. But donít fill up on it, especially if you order appetizers.
Some of the starters are as expensive as the entrťes. Still, donít miss the spectacular grilled sea scallops: plump, perfect, and nestled atop a mild corn-and-avocado relish and blue corn chips. The smoked crab cakes were delicious: huge chunks of crab, shrimp, and scallops, with a spicy seasoning and very little breading, garnished beautifully with cilantro and lime. Unfortunately, they were drowning in a ďroasted salsa rojaĒ that tended to be overwhelming.
The soup of the day happened to be chicken enchilada, and it was luscious. The rich, slightly spicy tomato base with chunks of white meat chicken was also incredibly satisfying.
At $7.95, Macís shrimp po-boy is practically a steal: lightly battered shrimp snuggling up to a slightly sweet remoulade on a Cuban roll. At most places, you get all bun and no shrimp. Not so here. As one of my guests observed, the bun-to-shrimp ratio was perfect. The shrimp themselves were deliciously crunchy and not at all greasy.
I wish the same could be said for the mozzarella caprese salad -- beautiful rounds of soft, white, cowís-milk cheese, fresh sweet basil and oregano, roma tomatoes, olives, and pepperoncini. Too bad it was all covered in way too much olive oil.
Macís sandwiches come with fries, but you can substitute one of the restaurantís giant sides for a small extra charge. We tried the ďSeven Cheese Macaroni & Cheese,Ē a dish that sent our server back to the kitchen to clarify which cheeses were included. Macís throws in pretty much everything, from the sublime (gruyere, muenster, sharp cheddar) to the goofy (Velveeta). The bťchamel sauce was fairly loose, and for some reason, the kitchen included sweet red pepper bits in the beautifully browned and zesty dish. Another solid choice is the lightly breaded, delightfully crunchy onion rings.
The restaurant boasts a huge wine list, along with a ton of single malt scotches, bourbons, and ďover 20 different vodkas and gins.Ē Macís on Seventhís weekday happy hour features dollar-off martinis, making vodka or gin versions of James Bondís fave libation a mere $4. Noon on Saturday was just too early for the hard stuff, but we did try Macís cherry-lime Italian soda. Picture a really upscale, not quite so sweet version of the Braumís favorite.
And save room for dessert. In addition to a rustic apple tart and a create-your-own sundae (called the Goldbrick, for reasons I still donít understand), Macís on Seventh also has good olí standbys, like ice cream. My cup oí vanilla starred a healthy portion of chocolate sauce that had frozen on contact, providing a simple, crunchy-creamy treat. Then there was the chocolate-toffee mousse pie: rich mousse, with a layer of crunchy Heath bar-type candy in the center.
So, does Fort Worthís dining landscape really need Macís? There are plenty of restaurants in town that do steak and seafood, some better than Macís and some with better views. But Macís food is tasty, and you can literally come as you are, fresh from shopping or dressed for a date. The convenient location, with its ample, free parking, should prove to be very popular. Especially on Sundays.


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