Openings and Closings

The 12 Most Exciting New Restaurants in Dallas So Far This Year

Some of the menu at Carbone is available at Carbone Vino, like this ravioli del giorno.
Some of the menu at Carbone is available at Carbone Vino, like this ravioli del giorno. Carbone Vino
Dallas has seen of spate of high-profile openings this year. Imports and Italian cuisine are certainly having a moment. To start, we recently had the highly anticipated opening of Carbone Dallas from Major Food Group. Perhaps the most raved about restaurant in town for the past couple of weeks, it’s also insanely difficult to get a reservation for the time being.

Alongside Carbone is Carbone Vino. A sister location to Carbone, Vino is an entire restaurant and wine cellar that intertwines with its next-door neighbor. Featuring a house-developed specialty square thin crust pizza and a “thousand-bottle wine list,” Vino offers a breezier dining space compared with Carbone’s big and bolder space.

Owned and operated by the minds behind Carbone and Vino, Sadelle’s opened just a few weeks prior in Highland Park Village. The brunch institution is an ode to New York’s all-day diners touting the “best bagels in America” according to its website.

Sassetta returns to Dallas again, this time downtown at the Joule hotel. It closed its Design District location (which is now Carbone) during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic but will once again serve patrons with a revamped menu and new space.
click to enlarge Pappardelle at Fiatto - ANGIE QUEBEDEAUX
Pappardelle at Fiatto
Angie Quebedeaux
Fiatto also recently opened in Uptown in the space that was most recently Eureka! They have a coastal European vibe and make everything from pastas to breads, stocks and sauce in house. We recently got a first look at this spot and our only problem was that we couldn't eat it all.

In Tex-Mex news, we’ve covered the opening of AG Texican, the restaurant created by “Fried Jesus” himself, Abel Gonzales, of the State Fair of Texas fame. AG Texican isn’t a fried food spot, and depending on whom you ask it could be considered a breakfast spot or a barbecue joint since Gonzales smokes 100% prime USDA briskets for both breakfast and lunch.

This past week, famed Nonna chef Julian Barsotti debuted his hacienda-style Tex-Mex restaurant Odelay, as reported by The Dallas Morning News. In an interview in late 2021, Barsotti told The Dallas Morning News that Odelay was a “homage, a constellation, of greatest hits of Dallas Tex-Mex.”

If you’re searching for something a little more chic, Toussaint Brasserie is worth the visit at the Renaissance Saint Elm hotel. The menu is mostly French with a few of Asian-inspired dishes. The space is lovely, an open and airy art deco with warm blue tones and deep booths. You won't soon forget any of the classic French dishes they're serving here.

The Mexican is the newest, upscale restaurant in town featuring traditional and authentic Northern Mexico dishes to the Design District. It’s proving to be a popular spot with rave reviews for the menu created by head chef Rodrigo Lomeli. According to Paper City Magazine, the ahi tuna Mexicano is to die for. Well, OK that may be a slight exaggeration, but it's worth a taste, along with The Mexican's signature margaritas.
click to enlarge Darkoo's is now open where Khao Noodle Shop was. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
Darkoo's is now open where Khao Noodle Shop was.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
We all hated it when Khao Noodle Shop closed last year, especially after all the national and local accolades it had received. Chef Danny Sirisavath and Jimmy Niwa of Niwa Japanese BBQ did a reset and opened Darkoo's Chicken Shack in the same space. Here you can get buckets of Lao fried chicken (Lao gai) served with eLAOtes, plus some traditional Thai dishes. It's a hopscotch of flavors and cuisines, and we can't wait to hop our way through it all.

Finally, we cannot stop thinking about Knife Burger which opened as its very own lunch spot back in February. John Tesar’s eclectic collection of burgers is some of the best in Dallas, and his steakhouse isn’t too bad either. Try the Ozersky Burger and let it ruin you, but save room for dessert. From our first look, "Banana panna cotta is an underrated dessert, combined with the bourbon compressed banana, dulce ganache and dulce ice cream. It's sweet heaven on a white porcelain plate."

The fourth iteration of '80s and '90s hotspot Sfuzzi rounds out the list of places we're most excited about. Brought back to life by This and That Hospitality (High Fives, The Whippersnapper and Ferris Wheelers Backyard and BBQ), this new space in the Knox Henderson neighborhood retains a lot of the vibe of the original. From our first look a while back, "with low lighting, Sfuzzi feels like one of those Italian restaurants in New York City, where you’d go fill up on pizza and pasta after a taping of Saturday Night Live and before a debauched night at Studio 54 in the ‘90s. At the same time, the team behind Sfuzzi provides a special sense of hospitality that can only be found within Dallas’ restaurant scene."
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Chance Townsend is the Dallas Observer's food intern for spring 2022. He's a grad student at UNT, and his favorite time of the day is unlimited mimosa brunch. If he's not writing about food then he's probably in the kitchen cooking it.