If you haven't been to any of the trio of Headington Companies dining concepts that are clustered together in the Dallas Design District's Decorative Center, you haven't truly experienced the DDD.
We recently got an insider’s perspective on these three Headington hotspots: Wheelhouse, Sassetta and Go Go. Michelle Padgett, editor of Headington Companies’ publication 1530 Main, took some time to answer our questions about all three.
Headington Companies has created three delicious restaurants in the Dallas Design District: Wheelhouse, Sassetta and Go Go. Tell us a little about each concept.
I like to choose between the three restaurants based on what mood I’m in. Wheelhouse is a modern gastropub — perfect for grabbing a burger and wings, or a pretzel and a craft cocktail. I have several friends who are big sports fans, and Wheelhouse is good “hang” place for large groups, whether you’re there to watch the game or not.
Sassetta is my all-day Italian spot. It’s open from 8 a.m. for a café-style breakfast to lunch, then afternoon cocktails and dinner. The space is lovely — a romanticized take on European design with a subtle nod to Harry’s Bar in Venice.
With Go Go, the motto says it all: Go On, Get Outta Here! As the takeout hub for Wheelhouse and Sassetta, it’s ideal for when I can’t muster the energy to cook. I place my order online and it’s ready to pick up when I arrive.
While the concepts are different, do you notice any common themes among them?
All three are very design-driven. It comes through in different elements: Sassetta’s textile-fringed mirrors, Wheelhouse’s floor-to-ceiling guillotine windows, Go Go’s black-and-white tiled floors… There’s so much attention to detail in each space. Oh, and also delicious food. Everyone is fanatical about that.
What led to Headington Companies to choose the DDD as the location for its restaurants?
I think it’s a matter of energy — there’s been so much growth and development in this neighborhood and Headington Companies saw an opportunity to be major driver in that.
There’s also the shared interest of art. Gallerists, architects, designers — these are our people! These spaces were designed with them in mind.
The restaurants are connected by an outstanding patio that features an eye-catching sculpture. Tell us a bit about this piece.
Whether you see it from the patio or from the opposite side on Oak Lawn, Moving Figure by New York artist Daniel Arsham is an arresting piece. The 18-foot-tall sculpture — Arsham’s first public installation as a solo artist — was commissioned especially for the space. I think it illustrates Headington Companies’ dedication to evocative, large-scale public art, such as Tony Tasset’s Eye in Downtown Dallas.
Wheelhouse is definitely more than a gastropub. What do you believe sets it apart?
The surprises on the menu. You think it’s pub food, but then there’s a grain bowl with tofu and roasted shiitake mushrooms, a yellowfin tuna poke bowl, a vegan chia-coconut breakfast bowl at brunch…
Also the cocktail menu. Cuffs & Buttons (the minds behind Midnight Rambler) consulted on the whole drink menu, so it’s remarkable.
What do you think makes Sassetta stand out from other Italian eateries?
The menu highlights seasonal Italian flavors with an emphasis on all things hand-crafted, wood-fired and house-cured. The kitchen creates Italian classics like dry-aged meatballs, house-made charcuterie and crispy-chewy-crust pizza, but in a way that’s really fresh and modern.
One of my favorite spins on the classic Italian pizza is the one topped with Taleggio and Parmesan cheeses, black pepper and burnt honey.
Go Go is the latest addition to the collection of DDD hotspots. Why was an on-the-go eatery so important to include?
Because we’re all so busy! We want delicious pastas, healthy salads, pizzas for a crowd… and we want them fast.
Go Go is also an important addition to the neighborhood because they cater. Small meetings, big gatherings… they do it all. Just say no to bad box lunches!
Which items would you say are must-tries at each restaurant?
This is controversial, so let me preface by saying that these are my favorites and I’ve eaten my way around each of these menus.
At Wheelhouse, you need to have the ahi tuna nachos. They’re the best bar snack. Sassetta’s charred Spanish octopus changed my mind about octopus in general — I love it now. It’s tender, not chewy, and comes drizzled with this amazing salsa verde. At Go Go, I like to order an iced almond milk latte to go when I pick up breakfast. Their espresso is made with Counter Culture coffee — one of my faves.
Finish this sentence: “Every great meal includes…”
Dessert — preferably one of Sasseta’s house-made gelati.
So whether you’re in the mood for a sit-down Italian feast, a beer and some unique gastropub fare, or just something to take home, you can satisfy any craving at any three of the Headington Companies’ eateries.