Chow, Baby: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Pennies for Heaven

Seventeen thousand, four hundred and sixteen. Skipping a dessert here, an appetizer there, that’s how many pennies Chow, Baby managed to save up over the two months since Eddie V’s Prime Seafood opened in the new Museum Place development (3100 W. 7th St.). Luckily, that turned out to be exactly the right amount for a incredible dinner for two at the happeningest spot in town. If you haven’t been to Eddie V’s, surely you’ve heard about it — it was a lead character in last year’s prime local-foodie topic, “Jeez, how many new high-end restaurants can Fort Worth really support, anyway?” Well, Chow, Baby thinks we should support this one. And not because the 22-oz. prime bone-in rib-eye ($38.95) was absolutely fabulous, perfectly cooked, and astoundingly tender and juicy — fabulous, yes, but not unique in Cowtown. What we were lacking, as far as Chow, Baby knows (still saving up for Grace and Bob’s), is a restaurant whose fanaticism for the freshest and finest seafood borders on the insane.
Your server can tell you details about how the managers attend seminars in Boston to learn about the seafood supply chain or whatever; Chow, Baby was distracted by the beguiling menu of seared Gulf snapper meuniere, herb-crusted smoked Atlantic salmon filet with honey-mustard vinaigrette, crisp-roasted Chilean sea bass in a lemon-wine broth, parmesan-crusted lemon sole, on and on, most in the mid-$20s. In the end Chow, Baby still ordered the steak, because that’s what it does, but it did eat heartily off the beloved’s broiled swordfish ($25.95). Boring, flavorless whitefish? Not when it pals around with fresh Jonah crab and red chili vinaigrette, peer pressure of the best kind. But as fine as the entrées are, the real stunners (and relative bargains; they’re huge) are Eddie V’s appetizers, sides, and desserts, which can be summed up in five words: Now I can die happy. Garlic, ginger, sesame (lots of dishes are Asian-inspired), truffles, Maytag bleu, more garlic, red chiles, hollandaise, cognac, bacon — the bold flavors are masterfully balanced, but still a happy slap to the taste buds. Certainly Chow, Baby had never before been enchanted by a wedge salad ($6.95).
OK, now Chow, Baby is starting to feel self-conscious about gushing so much, but it’s not the only one. Eddie V’s is already getting raves here, and its other locations, in Austin and Scottsdale, Ariz., are highly acclaimed. There are more to come, according to the web site (; if they’re selling penny stock, count Chow, Baby in, because this concept will fly. It doesn’t hurt that the place is sleek, wavy-walled gorgeous, balancing a lighthearted air with white-linen sophistication (the servers wear those old-school waiter jackets!). Eddie V’s professes to be inspired by “the classic seafood restaurants of New Orleans, San Francisco, and Boston,” but Chow, Baby sees early-Vegas nonchalant cool, as if Dean Martin might stroll by, snapping his fingers, to pronounce, “Yeah, life is grand; isn’t it fun, Baby?”
Nobody in this place is worried about but-the-economy; a diner could drop $100 here without trying, yet still there’s a three-week wait for a weekend reservation. Look at it as giving you time to save up. Eddie V’s costs a whole lot of pennies, but its inspired flavors, dapper décor, and impeccable service are worth every one of them.
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