April 19, 2021

Noliita Liancafe

Exquisite food

Wolfgang Puck takes over Fort Worth museum restaurant a year after Dallas fine-dining spot closed

Chef Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant group will take charge of the food at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, both the Cafe Modern restaurant and catering operations.

Puck operates several dozen restaurants around the world, including a steakhouse named Cut and a California-inspired restaurant named Spago. Puck’s restaurant group has not operated any fine-dining restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth since April 2020, when Five Sixty restaurant at Reunion Tower in Dallas closed. (The company does, however, have a place at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.)

The partnership at the Modern signals Wolfgang Puck’s return to upscale dining in North Texas.

Wolfgang Puck Catering has a history with museums, as it also provides catering for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Nasher Sculpture Center, both in Dallas. It also recently became the hospitality provider for Space Center Houston.

The Modern project is Wolfgang Puck’s first foray into Fort Worth.

The Modern Art Museum’s restaurant, Cafe Modern, is expected to reopen in May 2021.(Michelle Peyronet Jones)

“Wolfgang Puck Catering brings an international reputation for excellence to Café Modern, and we look forward to working with their team,” says Marla Price, director of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, in a statement.

The restaurant at Fort Worth’s Modern Art Museum will keep its name, Cafe Modern. The new menu is expected to become available in May 2021. For now, the restaurant is closed.

Chef Jett Mora will lead the kitchen at the Modern. Mora has worked for Wolfgang Puck for a decade and is moving to Fort Worth from Los Angeles for the job.

Mora hasn’t set his menu yet, and he says he wants to find inspiration from the farmers markets around town. He is born and raised in Los Angeles and is Filipino American.

“I had the advantage of being in such a multicultural city,” he says of LA, noting that cuisines from many cultures were available “on one street,” walking distance from where he grew up.

“I have huge influences from all types of Asian food,” he says. He also was raised going on road trips with his dad, eating “tuna melts and craft sodas at hole-in-the-walls and burger joints along the road.”

While the restaurant may have fine-dining tendencies in the evenings, it’ll have sandwiches at lunch and egg dishes at brunch. Mora plans to firm up the menu and hire the staff once he lands in Fort Worth permanently.

The Wolfgang Puck team will also take over the Modern’s catering and events. Each year (pre-pandemic), the museum hosts about 30 weddings and 15-25 corporate events and holiday dinners.

Cafe Modern is at 3200 Darnell St., inside the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The new menu is expected to become available in May 2021.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.