Jean Michel Sakouhi, formerly a Dallas restaurateur (Le Paris Bistrot, Severine’s), has migrated west with The Vault, which he opened in late summer in downtown Fort Worth. He has used the move as an opportunity to expand his menu beyond French to Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Spanish. His tapas were dynamite little bites, including chicken marinated in spicy red harissa sauce then grilled, and the addictive patatas bravas—crisp cubes of fried potato—served with lemon aioli.

Entrees were an exciting assortment—from New York strip to a vegetarian platter, with highlights such as paella, rice topped with mussels, clams, and shrimp, served in a stainless-steel bowl with handles. At lunch, downtown workers choose pizzas, salads, or panini, such as the vegetarian with spinach and feta cheese on rosemary focaccia, for $8. The Vault sits on the ground floor of the former BankOne Tower, which was hit by a tornado in 2000 and has since become a hip residential building. Inside The Vault, they’ve incorporated the massive steel supports into the overall design. A swanky bar one floor down is already being used for private parties. It was once an actual bank vault. Perhaps  it’s available for lock-ins? The food makes this a worthwhile fantasy.

Get contact information for The Vault.