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Men of the Moment 2018

By Nadia Dabbakeh, Kristie Ramirez, Rhonda Reinhart and Krystal Sarna

Photography by Billy Surface


What do you get when you combine a hot chef, a major league soccer star, a race car driver and a banker-turned-jewelry designer? A fascinating quartet of disruptors who are shaping the city’s social climate for the better.

The master chef behind Italian eateries Nonna, Carbone’s and Sprezza is Dallas’ main squeeze when it comes to the authentic regional cuisine of his ancestral homeland.

This month the 37-year-old opens his fourth restaurant, Fachini, in Highland Park Village.

“Fachini has been in my head for years now, just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself. It’s an homage to the mid-20th century—you know, octagonal black-and-white tile floors, dark wood, lamp-shaded chandeliers, tableside service... that kind of a restaurant, but in an energetic, retro kind of way with lots of allusions to Italian-American culture. The idea is to do the kind of food that has become really ubiquitous in terms of what everyone knew as Italian food in the United States, the classics like rigatoni ala vodka and veal parmigiana. So this whole idea is just to completely celebrate Italian-American classics and do it with a completely uncompromising manner in terms of handmade food, incredible ingredients and sensational versions of classic dishes—not a broken down or abstract version of a classic, but like what we are doing with our lasagna; baked lasagna with Sunday gravy is this classic Italian-American thing, but our lasagna is going to have over 100 layers of thin pasta. So if you have the expectation of lasagna, hopefully we can up that. Or you have an expectation of something that’s as classic as veal parm, but we’ll cut it from double-cut chops, butterflied, laid out and pounded, and then made with housemade mozzarella and a great tomato sauce.”