Mexico’s ‘Mr. Cabrito’ bringing prime steaks, brunch, fine dining to Fort Worth

·3 min read

The former Café Modern manager wasn’’t around for the reopening this week, but he didn’t go far.

Adrian Burciaga is teaming up with the most famous cabrito and steak chef from Coahuila for Don Artemio, a fine-dining steakhouse and restaurant from Saltillo opening next year in Museum Place.

Third-generation restaurateur Juan Ramón Cárdenas, known for his top-ranked Don Artemio in Saltillo, will join Burciaga to open a location at 3268 W. Seventh St., at the head of Van Cliburn Way near the Cultural District, museums and a forthcoming luxury hotel.

“Think of a steakhouse with prime steaks, dry-aged prime rib — the best in northern cuisine from Mexico,” Burciaga said.

By phone from Saltillo, Cárdenas remembered visiting Café Modern as a guest chef for a wine dinner eight years ago.

“Coahuila and Texas are neighbors and we share an appetite for good food,” he said.

Besides cabrito and charcoaled steaks, Don Artemio will be known for dishes such as striped bass in dark mole sauce or quail in mole poblano, he said.

“We do everything over charcoal,” he said. “Nothing is better.”

The Modern’s promotion for Cárdenas’ 2013 visit described him as “Mr. Cabrito.” He has published a cookbook, “La Senda Del Cabrito” (“The Path of the Kid [Goat]”).

Cardenas also has cooked for prominent Chicago chef Rick Bayless.

Bayless’ website describes Cardenas as “Mexico’s greatest master of Mexico’s most legendary specialty, fire-roasted cabrito.”

The West Seventh Street space most recently housed an ill-conceived location of Fort Worth-based Mr. Gatti’s Pizza. However, it was originally planned for a Dee Lincoln Prime steakhouse.

Don Artemio will add a large patio along West Seventh Street, Burciaga said, and on the Arch Adams Street side, a wine room named La Cava del Desierto.

Burciaga said he and Cárdenas have been discussing a Fort Worth restaurant for months and saw the opportunity with the museums and the coming Crescent Real Estate hotel across the way.

(The hotel is planned to include a restaurant by renowned Dallas chef Dean Fearing.)

Cárdenas said his retsaurant still cooks with the passion he learned growing up, when he would sit in a stroller in the kitchen as his family’s restaurant roasted goat and his mother made the flour tortillas and chorizo.

‘We serve the dishes from northern Mexico — enchiladas in mole with white cheese, nopalitos fritos [fried cactus strings],” he said.

“We want to show how good everything can be with high-end ingredients. Tacos can be very attractive with the proper ingredients and plating. We want to show the best dishes from Mexico.”

He said the only comparable restaurant he knows of in Texas is El Naranjo, a high-end Oaxacan restaurant in Austin.

Construction is just beginning on Don Artemio; until it nears completion, visit the Saltillo location at donartemio.com.

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Opening this week

Café Modern, 3200 Darnell St., has reopened under California-based celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s catering division; themodern.org.

Mariachi’s Dine-In, 5724 Locke Ave., known for Monterrey-style street tacos and also for a vegan version, has reopened for dinner only in its new location after moving from North Sylvania Avenue; mariachisdinein.com.