Restaurants / Openings

Inside the Jewel-Toned World of Sadelle’s, the New Dallas Hotspot in Highland Park Village

The NYC Brunch Institution With Ken Fulk's High-Design Touch Debuts This Week

BY // 03.16.22

Brunchers and lox-oholics, rejoice. We heard whispers last spring that a fabulous New York City hot spot known for its coveted selection of sable and sturgeon was sending an outpost to Highland Park Village. This Wednesday, March 16, Sadelle’s finally arrives in Dallas, Texas.

For months, we’ve been trying to peek through openings in the covered windows at the prime spot facing Preston Road in Highland Park Village (formerly, Royal Blue Grocery) as construction continued. Our efforts intensified when we heard that design-world darling Ken Fulk — who’s become quite the fixture on the Dallas party circuit, given the number of local restaurants and residential projects his team is working on here — was tasked with re-envisioning the space.

Lauded designer Ken Fulk has designed all five Sadelle’s locations, but each has a different vibe, with colors and textures that reflect its city. (photo by Nathan Schroder)

We recently caught up with Jeff Zalaznick, one of the managing partners of Major Food Group, alongside Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone — the team behind Sadelle’s. In just 10 short years, the company has evolved from operating one quaint restaurant in downtown Manhattan, Torrisi Italian Specialties, into one of the most acclaimed hospitality groups in the world.

They’ve also seen exceptional growth outside of New York City, with concepts in Miami, Boston, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Paris, Tel Aviv, and now Dallas. Major Food Group’s portfolio includes Sadelle’s, The Grill, ZZ’s Clam Bar, Dirty French, Parm, The Lobster Club, and the celebrity A-lister magnet that is Carbone. But as they have burgeoned, they’ve never lost sight of their mission: to provide the highest quality food in a memorable setting. MFG has been awarded a total of 18 stars from The New York Times and three from Michelin Guide.

Sadelle’s House Salmon and Salad Tower and a side of what Major Food Group deems “the best bagels in America.” (courtesy of Sadelle’s)

Zalaznick and I had a fabulously rambling conversation. Topics ranged from memories of the restaurateur’s great grandmother, the namesake for Sadelle’s and one of the “only people in the family who could cook until me” to MFG’s Dallas dreams. Zalaznick hopes that Sadelle’s becomes “the best place to go for all the things that everyone likes to eat. It might have many, many dishes that we’ve all had hundreds of times, but our goal is to make the best versions of those … We imagined that if you took a classic New York diner and the fanciest French patisserie, and they had a baby, it would be Sadelle’s.”

This is sophisticated comfort food with an emphasis on classic brunch fare. La perfection — how do we make a reservation …

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For Dallas, jewel tones and sumptuous shades of orange create a fanciful backdrop for Sadelle’s award-winning brunch. (photo by Nathan Schroder)

Sadelle’s Design Doyen: Ken Fulk Takes Dallas

Considering the titles of Ken Fulk’s two design tomes — Mr. Ken Fulk’s Magicalfor World (2016) and Ken Fulk: The Movie in My Mind (2022) — we could see why Zalaznick and Fulk had such a longstanding partnership. “Ken and I have been working together for almost a decade on all of our restaurants,” Zalaznick shared. “We speak the same language, and it’s a very collaborative process. We have a very good understanding of each other’s ideas, styles, storytelling; that’s why we continue to work together.”

Fulk has designed every Sadelle’s location, but each has a different vibe in terms of colors and textures that reflect its city. “New York doesn’t look like Vegas, Coconut Grove doesn’t look like Paris, Paris doesn’t look like New York,” Zalaznick adds.

A prime corner both wrapped in Ken Fulk’s signature whimsical style. (photo by Nathan Schroder)

What else is on the horizon for MFG? “Dallas is an incredible city with incredible people,” Zalaznick said. “We felt very comfortable coming here and are excited to open our restaurants.” That plural references Carbone, another New York City hot spot making its way to Dallas.

Word of its impending arrival began making its way around socially distanced patio cocktail parties as far back as 2020. Well, Carbone premieres this month in the Dallas Design District (in the space formerly occupied by Sassetta). We promise we’ll be first to make a reservation and report back.

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