Food & Drink

Eats Beat: Getting the right mix at Righteous Foods

Lanny’s lemon-cardamom cheesecake with a crushed-granola crust.
Lanny’s lemon-cardamom cheesecake with a crushed-granola crust.

Righteous Foods remains a work in progress.

But chef Lanny Lancarte II’s “good and good for you” fresh-organic cafe has made tremendous progress.

Coming up on his first Righteous Valentine’s Day, Lancarte’s restaurant is now a bit more like his old Alta Cocina, staying open till 9 p.m. and serving some of his familiar dinner specials.

Not only that, but Righteous also has added some purely good desserts, including a lemon-cardamom cheesecake on a crushed-granola crust.

Lancarte’s original idea was for a bright, airy restaurant serving fresh, healthy and preservative-free dishes and drinks.

If you want breakfast or a burger or the curry-chicken salad sandwich, they’re great.

If you want a steak or rack of lamb, that is available as a dinner special, prepared the Righteous way with hormone-free meats and using grapeseed or coconut oil.

His $95 Valentine’s menu features a choice of a bone-in rib-eye with thyme potatoes or Tasmanian steelhead with whole-wheat couscous and goji berries.

“We just do things differently now,” he said.

One of the Valentine’s appetizer choices is lobster — but it’s poached in coconut oil. (The other choice is organic sweet-potato gnocchi.)

Dessert options for Valentine’s include the cheesecake or a dark chocolate dessert with pistachio gelato.

Even on regular-menu days, there’s no fear of frying. Lanny’s still has his fried churros for dessert.

“We have completely different people at dinner now who want to stay and linger and have a drink, so we’re trying to have something for each crowd and not be so married to the menu,” he said.

The next menu change will bring separate breakfast, lunch and dinner selections, he said.

Saturday brunch starts at 9 a.m. and remains extremely popular. Daily breakfast (7-11 a.m.) is less crowded. It is closed Sundays.

New Italian downtown

ViVo 53, a new Italian bar-and-grill, is scheduled to open by the weekend in The Tower downtown.

The menu of pizzas, pastas and salads loosely resembles Taverna by Lombardi. But ViVo puts more emphasis on the bar and also on coffees and desserts.

ViVo 53 is owned by California investor Paul Daneshrad, making his first move into Fort Worth dining. It was originally deemed a pizzeria, then an Italian restaurant, and now awaits further definition.

Look for it in the former Vault space at 525 Taylor St., on the corner at Fourth Street; 682-990-5150.

Follow that burger

Arlington’s favorite burger is moving.

Chop House Burger chef Kenny Mills’ Park Row Drive landmark that gained fame on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives will move as early as next week to his former steakhouse location a few blocks west in Pantego.

The steakhouse property is larger, with more parking, and the bar will become a craft soda fountain, Mills said.

The reopening in Pantego also brings back Chop House’s popular “bootleg chicken,” the fried-chicken-to-go deal, although now it’ll be ordered up front along with a Chop House burger.

Visit the current location through this weekend, maybe Monday, and then look for Chop House Burger at 2230 W. Park Row Drive.

(Chop House Burger is not connected to the Dallas-based Chop House Burger restaurants in Euless and opening in Fort Worth.)

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in 817-390-7538. Twitter: @EatsBeat