Sassetta Reopens In Downtown Dallas, A New Go-To Macaroni And Cheese Specialty Arrives In Highland Village, Frisco Gets A Chicago-Style Hot Dogs Spot And More.

Welcome to The Spread, our weekly feature that aims to share all the area restaurant, food and beverage industry news that’s fit to print. Except, this is the Internet, so space isn’t a concern. Also: Good thing, because this is Dallas and this town always has breaking restaurant news going down like whoa.

We’re starting out with some good news for seasoned Dallasites.

Sfuzzi, which shuttered its doors in Uptown back in 2013, is back in action as of last month. Brandy Hays and Phil Schanbaum of This and That hospitality, are responsible for breathing life back into the nostalgic establishment and they’re doing their best to maintain its original ‘80s appeal. The new location pays homage to the original spot, utilizing the same kinds of chairs and booths, and will feature a wraparound patio and U-shaped bar. According to Paper City, the menu will be pretty similar to its original one, so previous fans can expect more of what they know and love.

There’ll be options of seven pizzas, filet mignon, seabass and classic Italian dishes too, of course. The original Sfuzzi location was founded in the late 1980s and the pizza restaurant and bar has been resurrected twice since the original owner closed up shop. Once in 2009, where it lasted four years, and another revival of it popped up briefly in 2015.

We’re hoping the third time’s the charm.

If you’re in the market for a new casual comfort food spot, I Heart Mac & Cheese might be your new go-to. The eatery opens in Highland Village on April 20, giving away free macaroni and cheese for one year to the first 10 guests, (they open at 11 a.m., FYI) and their website says there will be raffle giveaways and “free swag.”

If the name didn’t tip you off, the spot specializes in macaroni and cheese bowls, and also grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s not your ordinary macaroni and cheese though — it’s all made-to-order using high-quality ingredients and recipes. The spot has a hearty vegan menu, and sides like tater tots, broccoli and tomato soup. Along with the location opening at 2250 Justin Rd., their website lists more locations coming soon to Little Elm, Denton, Frisco and Richmond — there will soon be locations conveniently scattered all over the metroplex.

Another casual eatery, Chicago Avenue Hot Dogs, opened for business last month in Frisco. Located in Frisco at 15922 Eldorado Pkwy, inside the “Texas home of the mighty Chicago hot dog” are staples of Chicago culture like checkered tablecloths, restored vintage gas pumps and street signs, according to Culture Map. Although the family owned spot’s menu is centered around the Chicago-style hot dog, they’re also offering up Italian beef, pizza and other classic Chicago-style cuisine.

Another new addition to Frisco, Houston’s Russo’s New York Pizzeria is set to open its second DFW location later this year in the fall. According to Culture Map, it’ll be a smaller concept that will seat 25 guests and showcase the same family restaurant fans of the establishment have grown to know and love. The menu consists of go-to Italian dishes made with fresh ingredients — pizza, calzones, salads, deli style sandwiches and, of course, some sweet dessert offerings. The menu will also have some rotating items and a bar program with beer and Italian wines.

Some more Italian food news: downtown Dallas was graced by the reopening of Sassetta earlier this month. Previously located in the Design District, Sassetta originally opened in 2017 but — like many other eateries — closed down due to the pandemic’s reign.

We’re always happy to see a restaurant bounce back.

The new spot is currently open in the Joule hotel for dinner, with plans to eventually serve lunch too. Currently, the menu consists of modern takes on Italian favorites, along with shareable plates. Food offerings range from brisket tacos, roasted tomato soup, baby romaine salad and spring pea asparagus salad.

Dallas-based chain Velvet Tacos is opening a new location in Deep Ellum and while there isn’t an official release date, it should land later this year or early 2023. If you couldn’t guess, the lowkey eatery specializes in serving upscale tacos. Founded in 2011, the restaurant has 30 locations across Texas and touts the slogan “tacos without borders,” a concept that encourages the idea that tacos can explore ingredients from various cultures and cuisines.

They’ve got a wide variety of unique taco offerings made with chicken, fish pork, beef and there are some vegetarian options, too. They’ve got crispy buffalo chicken tacos, Korean fried rice tacos, grilled salmon tacos and kobe beef “burger” tacos, among lots of other choices. For sides, guests can choose from their well-known elote, chips and queso.

We guess, for now, we’ll just wait for that grand opening.

Cover photo courtesy of Sfuzzi’s Facebook page.

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