Square pizzas and fancy Italian wine are the big draws at Carbone Vino, the NYC import now open in the Dallas Design District
Carbone Vino, a new high-low concept from the owners of NYC-based Major Food Group, has opened in the Dallas Design District, sharing a covered patio with another newcomer, Carbone, the fancy red sauce Italian restaurant that debuted last week. Carbone Vino marks the third Dallas opening in a month for Major Food Group and its owners, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick. Their all-day dining spot Sadelle’s opened in Highland Park Village four weeks ago, though staffing issues have temporarily curtailed service on Mondays and Tuesdays.
If you’re into low-brow pizzas and high-end wines, Carbone Vino needs to be on your rota. The restaurant opens today.
The pizza and wine concept is new to the MFG brand. That freedom translates to a refined yet casual approach where Carbone’s most popular dishes , including spicy rigatoni vodka, veal parm and Caesar alla ZZ., are also served at Carbone Vino — and so are vintage wines from the Carbone cellar.
Carbone Vino is designed to be more casual than its adjacent sibling. Vino’s dining room seats 75 but spills out onto a covered patio. The specialties here are thin and square pizzas that Torrisi has been developing for more than a year. They’re cooked in an electric deck oven that Carbone first saw in a Brooklyn pizzeria where pizza maestros Chris Bianco and Chad Robertson consulted on the menu. Vino’s pizzaas are meant to be affordable and shareable; the menu includes a garlic pizza topped with only garlic butter, parsley and Pecorino Romano, a simple margherita pie, one elevated with pepperoni cups, a clam-and-sausage number, and a zucchini verde pizza.
Even better than the pizzas is Vino’s excellent 1,000-bottle wine cellar, which focuses on Italy and includes a deep collection of Sassicaia that reaches back into the 1980s. Can there be a better high-low pairing than pizza and Sassicaia?
Well, maybe, if you sub something from Carbone pastry chef Stephanie Prida, who’s said to be busily churning butter pecan ice cream with Texas pecans. Or maybe zeppole showered with powdered sugar, devoured at Vino’s horseshoe-shaped bar.
“I really want people to dine at the bar,” Carbone told my friend Andy Wang on a recent preview visit. “There will be a couple guys slicing salumi behind the bar, wearing their little Italian biker hats. They’re standing amongst the bartenders that go all around this horseshoe-shaped bar. Slinging negronis, slicing prosciutto, all the things you want. I think the energy at Vino will be just as big as Carbone, if not even a bit more bustling.”
1617 Hi Line Drive, Dallas
photos: Carbone Vino