Dallasites who have been waiting with bated breath for the anticipated opening of Major Food Group’s darling deli Sadelle’s will be able to exhale this week. Known as a “brunch institution” in New York, Sadelle’s is debuting at the iconic address of 1 Highland Park Village in the space formerly occupied by Royal Blue Grocery, with an interior reimagined for the concept by star designer Ken Fulk.
The modern, all-day diner touts its “best bagels in America” as well as an award-winning brunch, fan-favorite bakery, and celebratory atmosphere. Eater sat down for an exclusive chat with Major Food Group co-founders Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick, after whose great grandmother Sadelle’s is named.
Eater: What can Dallasites expect when they walk through the doors at Sadelle’s?
Zalaznick: They can expect the best version of classic dishes they’ve ever had, in Major Food Group style, and a great place to come for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to hang out with friends, and bring your kids. Sadelle’s really has something for everyone.
Eater: “Best Bagels in America” is a bold statement. Tell us why.
Zalaznick: Have one, you’ll see! When we created them, we were New Yorkers living in New York, thinking to ourselves every single day, ‘everyone says the best bagels are in New York, but we can’t find a good bagel’ What’s wrong with that picture? So we set out to create it and that’s what we did. It’s classic New York style down to the size, texture, everything—what we believe to be the perfect New York Bagel. Now people are eating the best bagels all over the world: in New York, Miami, Boca Raton, Paris, Las Vegas, and now in Dallas. And we do everything here; it starts as flour and becomes this.
Eater: Talk about your decision to open in Texas and specifically here in Dallas’ Highland Park Village.
Zalaznick: We love Dallas. We think it’s one of the great cities in America, and we were thrilled to find this incredible location in Highland Park Village, to have our first restaurant in Dallas to be at 1 Highland Park Village, it’s an incredible honor.
Eater: And is the footprint here similar to that of your other Sadelle’s in other cities?
Torrisi: It’s similar to Vegas in its size—bigger than New York.
Zalaznick: Dallas has the largest marketplace component, and coffee shop. This is the most exciting Sadelle’s we’ve opened so far because it has the most to offer from the marketplace to the dining room. There’s gonna be a lot of things here we’ve never done before. We’re gonna have a very special frozen drink program, the coffee bar and marketplace, bagel sandwiches and rotisserie chickens, and our ideal version of a breakfast taco.
Eater: Speaking of, talk about those breakfast tacos.
Zalaznick: We created our ideal version of a breakfast taco, and we think local Dallas people will be very excited about it. We’re doing flour tortillas from a great local bakery and then we griddle it in a very special way, creating a breakfast taco experience that is really something spectacular.
Eater: Tell us about the fish program here.
Torrisi: The lox is an old, very special recipe from a Swedish restaurant where I worked in New York. Texturally it creates a very luxurious product which I think is the foundation of our offering.
Zalaznick: We have our house lox which is what Rich has created that is really our signature cured, then we also have smoked salmon, with a smokier flavor, so you have two to choose from.
Eater: What is your ideal meal here at Sadelle’s?
Zalaznick: When I sit down for breakfast, I eat a LEO: lox, eggs, and onions. My whole life I couldn’t figure out, as a big LEO eater, why they cooked the salmon. So when given the opportunity to fix this problem, it was a huge moment, because instead of cooking the salmon, we layer our house salmon on top of a chive and onion omelet so you still get the luxurious taste of the salmon. To me that’s a perfect dish, maybe with a sesame bagel.
For lunch, I generally have mushroom barley soup and a triple decker sandwich, with turkey and roast beef. Or if I’m in the mood I go with the triple decker club, with turkey and bacon. For dinner, I always have Pigs In A Blanket, a little Greek salad, and then depending on my mood, it’s honestly between the salmon and the burger.
Torrisi: I basically get a bunch of bagels and platter of fish. Or I eat caviar with frozen vodka shots.
Carbone: Depends on the time of day; being that sort of all-day restaurant, you can come in for pastry, go shopping, work a little bit, back for lunch, then come back at night for tacos or chicken—a glass of wine—it’s constantly changing, like a grand European all-day restaurant. I eat salami and eggs because its the closest thing to Italian food we have here, with brown mustard, so I feel like I’m still eating Italian food.
Zalaznick: We eat all cuisines, but he [Carbone] only eats Italian food. [laughs]
Eater: What’s next for Major Food Group?
Zalaznick: As we explored the city, we noticed there’s such incredible people and incredible opportunity. So we have Sadelle’s opening now, then we have Carbone in a couple weeks.
Carbone: Directly next to Carbone will be Vino; three openings in succession, one right behind the other. Then we’re opening Dirty French in Brickell in Miami, which is the evolution of one of our very first restaurants. It’s a very fun project.
Sadelle’s opens Wednesday at 1 Highland Park Village from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with coffee service starting at 7 a.m.
Correction: March 12, 2022 10:25 a.m. This article was corrected to show that the restaurant is now opening on Wednesday, March 16.