Dallas Design District’s famed Italian restaurant is moving downtown
In fantastic news for downtown Dallas and Italian food lovers everywhere, it’s the long-awaited (and misplaced) return of Sassetta, opening at the Joule Hotel at 1530 Main St. in downtown Dallas. According to a statement, it will open on April 8, dinner only at first, followed by lunch.
It’s a second life for Sassetta, the restaurant founded by Headington Companies CEO Tim Headington, which opened in the Dallas Design District in 2017. It closed during the pandemic and Headington has now moved the concept to Joule, in the space previously occupied by Americano, another Italian restaurant, large in itself, which also closed during the pandemic.
Sassetta will be Joule’s sister restaurant at CBD Provisions, which is still open. (And meanwhile, Sassetta’s Design District space has been replaced by another Italian restaurant, Carbone.)
Sassetta will make creative interpretations of modern and regional Italian cuisine, including:
- shareable small plates like tomato-braised meatballs, tuna carpaccio and stuffed castelvetrano olives (a tribute to the menu at Americano
- homemade semolina pastarolled or extruded into a variety of shapes and then perfectly dressed, including ricotta agnolotti, black spaghetti, bolognese tagliatelle and black pepper bucatini
- thin crust pizzastarting with a three-day-old fermented dough baked at ultra-high temperatures for a puffy, puffy crust, with toppings like clams, hen of the woods, black pepper and burnt honey (an original Sassetta pizza )
Executive Chef Jason Zygmont oversees menu creation and execution. He has worked in bright kitchens such as Per Se, Noma and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. He joined Sassetta in December 2021, moving from Nashville, where his restaurant Setsun received Eater’s 2019 Dish of the Year with its signature agnolotti.
“Dallas’ culinary scene is exploding and I’m thrilled to join this thriving culinary culture,” Zygmont said in a statement. “It’s clear that Sassetta first struck such a chord here because of the quality of the food and the beautifully designed space – no doubt this iteration will impress in a similar, but new way.”
Although its primary focus is modern, seasonal Italian cuisine, the new menu also features influences from the Mediterranean region, including southern France, North Africa and Spain. The wine list is a robust collection from various regions of Italy, as well as California and France, as well as amari and Italian cocktails. The signature cocktail, Carmenta’s Spell, is named after a Roman goddess and features Prosecco, Pisco, pomegranate liqueur and lemon juice. It is served in Il Buco Vita’s “Goddess” mouth-blown glass.
Tuscan inspiration is woven into Sassetta’s reimagined aesthetic with a new color palette by Swoon the Studio, the restaurant’s design, dining experience and serving pieces. This includes hand-blown glassware, colored tumblers and custom enamel dishes by Il Buco Vita, a group of skilled Italian artisans. They opt for a modern neighborhood trattoria where locals meet for an aperitif with friends or an elegant dinner.
Jean Liu, director of interior design firm Jean Liu Design, said in a statement that they seek to emphasize the link with Italy’s history through design elements such as the floor of the room. terrazzo bath tubs, vibrant colors and artwork and restoration pieces made by skilled craftsmen.
This includes Galloti & Radice Jolie pendant lights in the dining room; “Renata” floor and wall tiles from the Ann Sacks terrazzo collection; and an abstract mural by British interiors firm de Gournay depicting the rolling hills of Tuscany.
Somewhere in the middle of it all, according to the release, is a subtle nod to Harry’s Bar in Venice. They also opened up the dining area to embrace a large porch for more outdoor seating.
“We couldn’t be more excited to reintroduce Sassetta to Dallas and reintegrate itself into the vibrant fabric of Main Street,” Headington said. “Witnessing the meticulous evolution of Sassetta under Jean’s artistic vision has been incredibly inspiring to me and the Joule team. And what Chef Zygmont has created – refining our favorite dishes and introducing new ones – reflects our commitment to quality and creates more reasons to visit downtown.”