Olive Oil Rules

Hot new Dallas foodie restaurant Sachet selects a date for meze and more

Hot new Dallas restaurant Sachet selects a date for meze and more

Whole fish with vegetables will be on the menu at Sachet. Photo by Brad Murano

The opening date is here for one of Dallas' biggest restaurant debuts of the fall. Sachet, a new eatery from chef/owner Stephen Rogers and his wife, Allison Yoder, will open on September 20 at the Shops of Highland Park on Oak Lawn Avenue.

Sachet, French for "a small bag of herbs and spices," is the new sibling to Gemma, the Henderson Avenue restaurant that the couple opened in 2014. Gemma has been one of Dallas' most acclaimed eateries, winning "best restaurant" awards from numerous publications, although really the only awards that matter would be the "Restaurant of the Year" award in 2015 from CultureMap Dallas, the "Wine Program of the Year" in 2017 from CultureMap Dallas, and the No. 2 slot of the "Top 100 Best Restaurants" from CultureMap Dallas.

While Gemma has more of a fine-dining theme, Sachet will be a fun, warm, and inviting restaurant with a fresh, light menu that's inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean coast, drawing from a broad array of countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco.

Menu items will include lamb, seafood, poultry, house-made pastas, legumes and grains, and salads sourced from the best seasonal ingredients possible. Rogers, who will oversee the kitchen along with Gemma's executive sous chef, Michael Lawson, says they're going for something "a little exotic but still approachable." They'll favor olive oil over butter and place a greater focus on vegetables, including an entire menu of vegetable-based starters.

Dishes will be shareable, blurring the lines between traditional categories like appetizer and entrée. Many will be grilled or cooked in a wood-fired oven from the Italian company Mugnaini, custom-made in Tuscany and built in Sonoma, exclusively for Sachet. This totally one-ups the obligatory La Marzocco espresso machine. The oven will be used day and night.

"We'll use the residual heat from the coals to simmer our stocks overnight," Rogers says. "In the morning, we’ll take the stocks out and use the heat trapped inside to start baking our bread for the day."

Sachet is about having fun, about enjoying the energy in the room and sharing food and wine. There’ll be 110 seats inside, including the bar. Classic yet modern with a tremendous amount of light flowing through the space, the design boasts dramatic high ceilings and a muted pink and earthy color palette. A residential feel with an open kitchen and side terrace create an ambience that’s inviting and comfortable.

The centerpiece of the restaurant is a glass-encased temperature-controlled wine cellar with an oval-shaped bar with 24 seats where the full dinner menu will be offered to walk-in guests.

Giving the same doting attention to its wine program as its big sister Gemma, Sachet will feature an all-Mediterranean wine list with a unique and significant selection of Greek, Italian, Turkish, Israeli, Lebanese and Spanish wines. The bar will offer more than 30 wines by the glass, with 18 wines on tap including 2 sherry wines.

Cocktails will incorporate the use of fresh, seasonal produce. A special section will be devoted to aperitifs, as well as Spanish-style gin and tonics, amaro and vermouth.