It's Artisanal, You Know

California restaurateur tosses pizza joint at Fort Worth Tower and prays it sticks

Californian tosses pizza joint at Fort Worth Tower and prays it sticks

Vivo 53 pizza
Vivo 53 features artisanal, hand-crafted pizza. Photo courtesy of Vivo 53
Vivo 53 pasta
Pastas at Vivo 53 include fettuccine Bolognese with white truffle oil. Photo courtesy of Vivo 53
Vivo 53 pizza
Vivo 53 pasta

A new Italian restaurant called Vivo 53 is bringing "proprietary artisanal pizzas" and pastas to downtown Fort Worth. It opened on February 16 at 525 Taylor St., on the ground floor of The Tower, in a space that was once The Vault.

According to a release, Vivo 53 draws its name from the "53 attempts and three master bakers" it took to create the dough for the pizza, which they say has the ideal blend of crispness and flavor.

"Vivo 53 begins with our artisanal, hand-crafted pizza," says Vivo 53 owner Paul Daneshrad, who is also president and CEO of StarPoint Properties, a real estate company in California. Artisanal, hand-crafted pizzas include the following:

  • Crispy prosciutto, formaggio di capra, caramelized onions and thyme
  • Fennel sausage, salami, mortadella, guanciale, mozzarella and chili-fennel soffrito
  • Fried kale, mozzarella, red chilies, Grana Padano and tomato sauce

In addition to artisanal, hand-crafted pizza, the menu also features pastas made in house with durum pasta. Options include pasta with mozzarella di bufala and San Marzano tomato sauce; fettuccine Bolognese with white truffle oil; and spaghetti with clams, mussels, Calabrian peppers and bottarga pangrattato, a Sardinian specialty.

The restaurant features a "theater kitchen" and is centered around a wood-fired pizza oven that serves as the heart of the space. The décor is described as "Italian bistro," with white subway tile accents and a sleek metal pizza bar. General manager is Joseph Bowman, who lives in the Fort Worth area. 

Daneshrad, who once owned an estate that formerly belonged to Merv Griffin, put himself through college waiting tables and managing restaurants, and he always vowed to open his own place. A spokeswoman said he's looking for a location in Dallas; meanwhile, he's opening a second branch of Vivo 53 in Bellevue, Washington, in August.