Sure, the Dallas dining scene may be red hot, but that’s no excuse not to explore Fort Worth every now and then. From barbecue to exotic game and everything in between, here are the Cowtown eateries you’d be a fool to miss.

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Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine

This is the place to take your friends visiting from up North. Because no matter how many times you tell them that DFW is quite modern, they’re still convinced that you ride to work on a horse. So show them some delicious and seasonal Texas cuisine with a selection of wild game they’ve probably never had before. Elk tartare, anyone?

4259 Bryant Irvin Rd., Fort Worth; 817-738-5489 or

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Clay Pigeon Food and Drink

Owner and chef Marcus Paslay is cooking up dishes that will make you lick your chops. Speaking of, the red wine and garlic lamb chop is divine. Or what about a duck confit flatbread? And if you fancy yourself some vino, you’ll delight in their lengthy list of pours.

2731 White Settlement Rd., Fort Worth; 817-882-8065 or

Ellerbe Fine Foods

You’d never know this darling hot spot was once a gas station. But speaking of filling up, this Southern-style eatery is the perfect place to break bread with friends you’ve been dying to catch up with over some Louisiana crawfish étouffée.

1501 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth; 817-926-3663 or

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Perhaps the most Dallas-y on the list, this jazzy downtown dining establishment offers a high-energy environment for those looking for a good glass of wine and a solid meal. Splurge on the Grace Seafood Tower, featuring king crab legs, lobster tail, oysters, jumbo prawns and more.

777 Main St., Fort Worth; 817-877-3388 or

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Heim Barbecue

This husband-and-wife-owned meat outpost is the new barbecue kid on the block. Whether you do ribs, brisket or sausage, make sure you save a little room for some banana pudding for dessert.

1109 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth; 817-882-6970 or

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Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

This Stockyards favorite, owned by celebrity chef Tim Love, is masculine and handsome yet romantic and cozy at the same time. It’s also an adventurous foodie’s playground with dishes like kangaroo carpaccio “nachos,” Rocky Mountain elk loin, and beet home fries with goat cheese and chiles.

2406 N. Main St., Fort Worth; 817-740-8810 or

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Woodshed Smokehouse

Located on the banks of the Trinity River, this is another one from Tim Love. But this time, it’s his passion project for all things meat (Tim, we love your work). Expect a rotating selection of beef, lamb, pork, fish and more. There’s even a “pup menu” featuring both savory and sweet bones. How can anyone resist?

3201 Riverfront Dr., Fort Worth; 817-877-4545 or

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Reata Restaurant

This Southwestern restaurant in the heart of Sundance Square has become a Fort Worth tradition since it opened in 2002. And while most will tell you to go for the rib eye, we’re gonna dare you to walk on the wild side and order the jalapeño-crusted Texas redfish. (Just make sure whoever you go with gets the rib eye so you can share.)

310 Houston St., Fort Worth; 817-336-1009 or

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