Today I got to spend some time with Dan Moroso, the founder and owner of the soon-to-open Moroso Wood Fired Pizzeria, and talk about his history and his vision for the restaurant and its location in an area he is calling Midtown. The restaurant is located in a very familiar setting as it occupies the former Bosque location of Cafe Cappuccino in Market Square.
When you walk in, there is nothing familiar about the restaurant's interior. Everything on the inside has been redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up. You enter into a more open floor plan, with the wall between the front and back sections of the restaurant removed giving you a view all the way to the back.
The custom-built wood fired pizza oven by master builders Marra Forni is on display through a huge open window into the pizza preparation area. I was immediately drawn to the beautiful tile work on the oven, as seen in the photo that accompanies this post.
From the moment I started talking to Dan, I could immediately get a sense of his passion for good, quality food and community, along with his unparalleled attention to detail. "Every wall tells a story," Moroso told me as he gave me a tour of the dining area. The side walls of the front dining area are made from reclaimed wood from the old Bluebonnet Ordnance Plant (bomb factory) in McGregor. He even built a custom light fixture from a reclaimed railroad tie from the same plant, which now hangs over what Moroso is calling the "Community Table," a 10-top table where you can sit with and meet other members of the community.
This attention to detail, story-telling, appreciation of history, and sense of community are evident at Moroso right away. It goes along with their mission of building community and a feeling of family for their customers and their staff. I belive they have already accomplished that. The place isn't quite finished, and I already felt right at home right when I walked in the door.
Ambiance is important, but what should really set Moroso apart is the food. Their specialty is hand crafted Neapolitan pizza with hand crafted dough baked in their wood-fired oven. From their website, "The MOROSO menu offers a variety of pizzas and other Italian dishes based on family recipes and Dan's experience as a chef in Europe."
The base price for a basic 13" pie is going to be $11, which is a bit pricier than your standard pizza delivery place, but definitely middle of the road for the skill and quality ingredients that go into each pizza. Heritage Creamery has proven that Wacoans are willing to pay a premium price for a premium product, so I think Moroso will do well at that price point.
The question I got most often the other day when I posted a photo of Moroso on our Instagram and Facebook pages was about when they will open. So naturally, I asked Dan, and he said realistically by the end of June if all inspections go well and if they are able to hire all the people they need. We'll keep you posted as opening day gets closer.
One last bite: They're hiring!
If you or someone you know has experience serving tables or working in a kitchen, go to their website and contact them about a job. They are looking for good people with experience, and they will pay well and offer a great work environment.
Photo credit: Dan Moroso