Dallasites who were eagerly awaiting the planned opening of Major Food Group’s darling deli At Sadelle’s may expire this week. Known as a “brunch institution” in New York, Sadelle’s debuts at the iconic address of 1 Highland Park Village in the space formerly occupied by Royal Blue Grocery, with an interior redesigned for the concept by renowned designer Ken Fulk .
The modern all-day restaurant touts its “America’s Best Bagels,” along with an award-winning brunch, fan-favorite bakery, and festive atmosphere. Eater sat down for an exclusive chat with Major food group co-founders Mario Carbon, Rich Torrisiand Jeff Zalaznicknamed after Sadelle’s great-grandmother.
Eater: What can Dallas residents expect when they walk through Sadelle’s doors?
Zalaznick: They can expect the best version of classic dishes they’ve ever had, in the style of the major food groups, and a great place for breakfast, lunch and dinner, to hang out with friends and bring your kids. Sadelle truly has something for everyone.
Eater: “America’s Best Bagels” is a bold statement. Tell us why.
Zalaznick: Take one, you’ll see! When we created them, we were New Yorkers living in New York, saying to ourselves every day, “Everyone says the best bagels are in New York, but we can’t find a good bagel.” What’s wrong with this photo? 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 we think is the perfect New York bagel. Today, people are eating the best bagels around 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 amazing place in Highland Park Village, to have our first restaurant in Dallas at 1 Highland Park Village, it’s an honor incredible.
Eater: And is the footprint here similar to your other Sadelles in other cities?
Torrisi: It’s similar to Vegas in size, bigger than New York.
Zalaznick: Dallas has the biggest market and a cafe. This is the most exciting Sadelle’s we’ve opened so far, as it has the most to offer, from market to dining. There’s going to be a lot of stuff here that we’ve never done before. We’ll have a very special frozen drink program, the coffee bar and the market, bagel sandwiches and roast chickens, and our ideal version of a breakfast taco.
Eater: Speaking of, talk about those breakfast tacos.
Zalaznick: We’ve created our ideal version of a breakfast taco, and we think the people of Dallas will love it. We make flour tortillas from a great local bakery and then bake them in a very special way, creating a breakfast taco experience that is truly something spectacular.
Eater: Tell us about the fish program here.
Torrisi: Smoked salmon is a very special old recipe from a Swedish restaurant where I worked in New York. Textually it creates a very luxurious product which I think is the foundation of our offering.
Zalaznick: We have our house smoked salmon which is what Rich created and which is really our signature, and then we also have smoked salmon, with a more smoky flavor, so you have two to choose from.
Eater: What is your ideal meal here at Sadelle?
Zalaznick: When I sit down for breakfast, I eat a LEO: smoked salmon, eggs and onions. All my life I couldn’t understand, as a big LEO eater, why they cooked the salmon. So when we got a chance to work this out it was a huge moment because instead of cooking the salmon we layer our homemade salmon on top of a chive and onion omelette so you still get the luxurious taste of salmon. For me, it’s a perfect dish, maybe with a sesame bagel.
For lunch, I usually have mushroom and barley soup and a three-tier sandwich, with turkey and roast beef. Or if I’m in the mood, I go with the three-tier club, with turkey and bacon. For dinner, I always have Pigs In A Blanket, a small Greek salad, and then depending on my mood, it’s frankly between salmon and burger.
Torrisi: I basically get a bunch of bagels and a fish platter. Or I eat caviar with ice cold vodka shots.
Carbon: Depends on time of day; being that kind of an all day restaurant, you can pop in for a pastry, shop, work a bit, come back for lunch, then come back in the evening for tacos or chicken – a glass of wine – it changes constantly, like a large European Restaurant open all day. I eat salami and eggs because that’s 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 there [Carbone] only eat Italian food. [laughs]
Eater: What’s next for Major Food Group?
Zalaznick: As we explored the city, we noticed that there were amazing people and amazing opportunities. So we have the Sadelle opening now, and then we have Carbon in a few weeks.
Carbon: Right next door Carbon will Vino; three successive openings, one just behind the other. Then we open Dirty French at Brickell in Miami, which is the evolution of one of our very first restaurants. It’s a very fun project.
Sadelle opens Wednesday at 1 Highland Park Village from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with coffee service from 7 a.m.
Correction: March 12, 2022 10:25 This article has been corrected to show that the restaurant now opens on Wednesday, March 16.