The Dallas Design District is the proud home of two Major Food Group concepts, Carbone and Vino. In the span of a decade, MFG has evolved from operating a small restaurant in downtown Manhattan into one of the most acclaimed hospitality groups in the world. Their unique celebratory style of dining has paved the way for groundbreaking partnerships with leading designers and luxury brands.
Read on to learn more about Major Food Group and its esteemed DDD locations, in the words of Mario Carbone, himself.
Tell us about the history of Major Food Group and how the Dallas Design District restaurants, Carbone and Vino, came to be.
Dallas is one of those global capitals that we’ve had our eyes on from the very beginning of the Major Food Group story, as we began to expand our horizons. I could list so many reasons for the synergy: a cosmopolitan community, a culture of celebration around the table, a city filled with individuals who are shaping the future of the country in the worlds of business, art, sports, and beyond. But at the end of the day, it boils down to this: Dallas is a destination where we absolutely love to spend time, and that usually tells us all we need to know.
As for the history of our company, I’ll focus on the essence of MFG. We are three friends— brothers, really—with a deep love for hospitality, for building things, and for striving to raise the bar at every possible opportunity. That shared passion has taken us from being a small but hungry group in New York City with a handful of restaurants to a global brand that comprises a range of concepts. To name just a few: the glamorous Italian-American CARBONE, the all-day dining institution Sadelle’s, the private membership destination ZZ’s Club—and Vino, a new venture we specifically chose to unveil in the DDD.
Since opening, what do you all enjoy most about having restaurants in the DDD?
The people, always. I’m talking about our guests, who have welcomed us with open arms and treat the spots like their second home. But I’m also very much talking about the team, who maintain the highest standards and manage to honor the DNA of the restaurants while creating experiences that couldn’t exist anywhere but Dallas.
What would you say sets Carbone and Vino apart from other local concept eateries?
I don’t think it’s for me to argue what sets us apart, so I’ll tell you instead about what we believe we add to the landscape: CARBONE is a cinematic dose of the glamor, charisma, and deliciousness of mid century Italian-American New York. It’s a story that I in many ways was born to tell, having been steeped in that wonderful culture growing up in Queens. Rich, Jeff, and I endeavored to revive that style of restaurant in a modern yet classic fashion—to use our training in the most acclaimed kitchens to make these dishes that Americans know and love better than they ever thought was possible.
Vino is the latest edition to the CARBONE family. We offer the signatures, absolutely, but it’s different from its neighbor in exciting ways: you can walk-in and have a meal at the bar, for one, whereas CARBONE by nature is more of an occasion. At Vino, you can also try dishes we’ve always wanted to serve, like our first-ever pizzas, while getting lost in one of the country’s most impressive wine lists.
If you had to describe Carbone and Vino’s ambiance in one word, what would it be?
When it comes to menu offerings, both food + cocktails, do you all work in seasonal selections or specials based on current industry trends?
Given the way we grew up eating, the lessons we learned from our chef mentors, and the cuisines that inspire us, paying attention to the seasons is just what we do. So, yes! We certainly don’t write an entirely new menu every day, but when an incredible ingredient arrives at the market with the change in season, we can’t wait to share it with our guests.
We definitely don’t take our cues from trends. We prefer to draw inspiration from our careers and memories, and each other.
Any current favorite menu items or specialty cocktails you’d recommend?
This is a highly personal matter—everybody has a different CARBONE favorite. But the Spicy Rig is famous for a reason. At Vino, I have to celebrate the pizzas, the absolutely abundant cocktail selection, and the fact that you can enjoy many of our stellar wines by the quarto.
Complete this sentence: “The Major Food Group experience isn’t complete without_______."
Indulging in the kind of night when you book your next visit on your way out the door.
Book your reservation at Carbone or Vino today to immerse yourself in the full Major Food Group experience. Be sure to give Major Food Group a follow on Instagram, and head over to their website for more information.