Friday, May 2, 2008


Note:  Since this review was posted, Scampi's has closed and is being replaced by a new restaurant.  Check back for further information.

I don't even think this place has any shrimp, but they named it Scampi's after Scampi Kokolous, the first Greek immigrant to Fort Worth's Magnolia Ave. There's a 55% chance this is incorrect.

From what I can tell and heard, Scampi's is a Mediterranean restaurant, just east of the Italebamexitalobesgrill Town area. It's on Magnolia between the Lili's/Panther City Bicycles/Spiral Diner area and the Paris Coffee Shop area. This little restaurant is a semi-high end hole in the wall with everything from calamari (ocean rocky mountain oysters - see Sushi Axiom review) to dolmas (the meat from a rare breed of llama). Between Scampi's and Lili's, Magnolia has developed a nice little gourmet district (its already named Magnolia - too bad because I had something really good for this one).

I was there with a very Greek food knowledgeable person and so I got the super secret information you'll never get. Unless you keep reading.

Here's the secret. Order the Greek Sampler. Every time. It comes with a bite of almost everything on the menu but don't let that stop you from ordering extra orders of that item. We had the Greek Sampler and the Moussaka. But the Greek Sampler comes with Moussaka you say? Well so what? Do you stop eating four cheezits? drinking two beers? reading stupid blogs? No, and thats why you should not stop eating moussaka. Ever. It's like lasagna but with eggplant and some sort of addictive narcotic. I have been shaking since my last visit.

And, in the tradition of being Mediterranean (salty ocean) everything is salty (a stretch you say? eh, maybe). So even though its BYOB, bring a bottle of water. They'll probably charge you a corking fee but its worth it.

The anti-pasta platter has sliced meats, cheddar and monterrey jack cheese and some relishes and is covered with olive oil. The calamari comes fried with some sauce to dip it in. Both great. My favorite dish though, were the dolmas. They're grape leaves stuffed with meat and rice and covered with a sauce that I'm not going to try and type. "Delish" says somebody with less writing talent than me. These are the unfried version of a Greek corn dog. Without a stick. And no fake meat. And no mustard. And you eat it with a fork. And it cost eight bucks. My wife says it more closely resembles an enchilada. Although she is correct, that advice is useful, and that goes directly against the point of this blog.

I also had an order of Moussaka which, as I said earlier, is like an eggplant lasagna. I've never knowingly had eggplant before. There may have been a surprise eggplant incident, but I was probably asleep. Eggplant = good. Just so you know. The dish was a bit salty but the taste was great. I think (from reading directly from the website) its pan fried eggplant, layered with meat, potato and cheese. The only thing that would make this better would be to fry it and cover it in queso. Alas, they don't offer a chimissaka (note to self, start a restaurant and only sell this).

A few things to know if you go. There is a three dollar corking fee if you bring your own bottle of wine. If you don't take a bottle of wine, they'll laugh at you in their snobby Greek way. Your meal and time here may take awhile, so sit back and enjoy. If you can, get a table by the window and look outside (or sit on the patio with a table by the window and look inside). Just look somewhere.

The waiters are very knowledgeable and will try not to make fun of you for asking stupid questions. So go and enjoy your evening. You'll either thank me or say nothing and continue to silently read and question why you're wasting your time reading this. Either way, enjoy and if somebody knows another Mediterranean place, please let me know.

Scampi's on Urbanspoon


Jason Hammer said...

Curious. Would you be more inclined to go back to Scampi's or Jazz Cafe? I haven't been to Scampi's and I've had Jazz once (got the gyro and it was good)?

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

The places are pretty different from what I could tell. Jazz has a more casual menu with sandwiches and gyros, whereas Scampi's has more of a "dish" type menu.

I think they're different enough to both merit frequent visits. Now that you've said that I kind of want a gorski.

Michael Bourgon said...

OT: Cafe Chadra has gone away. The owner of Chadra Mezza sold it to one of his cooks, who has changed it to American food and will be renaming it Pam's Place. FYI.

Anonymous said...

So, where should I take Mom for Mother's Day?

cdees39 said...

Pam as in Pam Pride? hmm good chef.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Cdees, are you saying that Pam's restaurant is a worthy trip? Where is this located?

Anonymous, we're taking my mom to a place she loves but hasn't been to in a long time. I would recommend any place with a patio if its going to be sunny on sunday.

Anonymous said...

There used to be a restaurant in Bedford (on Norwood) called Big Fat Greek Buffet. They closed a couple of years ago, but I hear that the place has reopened somewhere on Bedford Rd. If you find it and try it, let us know

Crdean1 said...

fwhiw, have you been to Byblos? It's great lebanese/greek. I think their Tues/Thurs buffet is the best, but be ready to inhale hooka all night if you go during the evening hours, and quite possibly see some belly dancing.

The buffet is well balanced with a good greek salad, dolmas, hummus, kufta, good chicken and the like. make sure and have some Turkish (arabic) coffee at the end. I think they serve the best. (I believe Hedary's on Camp Bowie is a sister restaurant to them).

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

crdean - thanks for the recommendation. I haven't been to Byblos yet but I'll put it on the list. What is kufta?

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for BYOB and good classic Italian try Cafe Bella on 3548 S Hills Ave.

E said...

Scampi's is excellent. Chadra's is open now on Park Place near 8th Avenue. I believe same owners as when over by JPS.