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The most popular fine-dining experience in Fort Worth is now open inside The Crescent Hotel. No, it’s not Emilia’s, the new hotel’s refined Mediterranean eatery that’s been open since November – although it does dazzle with its seafood crudos, house-made pastas, Spanish and Moroccan flavors, and open kitchen views.

It’s The Blue Roomwhich hides inside Emilia’s behind frosted glass doors that open to reveal a small but stunning space that seems fit for royalty.

Open just four weeks, the fine-dining destination features blue velvet wall coverings, white tablecloths, woven barrel chairs, and abstract chandeliers that create a luxe setting with seating for up to 50 among a dozen or so tables. Here, executive chef Preston Paine (a nominee for the CultureMap Fort Worth Tastemaker Awards Chef of the Year) is showcasing New American dishes with next-level presentation not found anywhere else in Fort Worth.

To start, guests aren’t given a dinner menu upon arrival. Instead, diners are encouraged to first choose from a selection of one-bite hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail. Paine, who has experience in fine dining establishments such as Eleven Madison Park in New York City and most recently worked for Exxir Hospitality in Bishop Arts, says the intention is to purposely slow down the dining experience amid society’s increasingly frenzied pace.

“One of the main reasons why this industry has always been so attractive to me is the communal and shared experience of dining,” says Paine, who also oversees the kitchen at Emilia’s. “With the continued rise in popularity of social media, some of the finer and intentional nuances during service aren’t always captured in posts. The Blue Room’s slower dining experience will hopefully promote a better understanding of why diners choose to spend an evening with us – and that’s to enjoy the company you’re with, refined food, and detailed service.”

Canape choices include the rich “ravioli” bite ($5 a pop) made with thinly sliced ​​kohlrabi in lieu of pasta and stuffed with miso, fig, and fried garlic; and the everything bagel-seasoned toile cone that’s filled with smoked salmon and topped with avocado mousse ($7). The one-bite hors d’oeuvres are served on dining vessels with varying heights in an abstract exposition.

Categories on the full menu include seafood-centric apps like tuna carpaccio ($28), traditional caviar service ($140), and the extravagant shellfish tower ($118 for two), which layers lobster, shrimp, oysters, and crab claws on tiers.

Other menu sections include salads, pastas, fish, and meat. Farro risotto ($32) is presented with black truffle shaved tableside by Paine; the Maine lobster fra diavolo ($52) can come with enhancements like caviar; and the Dover Sole special ($125 when available) is filed tableside. Top tier meats include venison filet ($50), lamb loin (market price), and Denver cut Wagyu ($68).

The Blue Room also has its own private bar, a corner space where premium martinis are shaken to order. The menu was developed by Jamel Taggart, The Crescent’s director of food and beverage, and features cocktails like the olive and herb martini, the Mediterranean vesper, and an extensive wine list. After-dinner drinks are encouraged to accompany dessert.

The Blue Room is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5-10 pm; reservations can be booked here.