Stephen Pyles – Samar

Did everyone have a great weekend? I spent mine mostly relaxing, hanging out with friends, and staying warm. I don’t know what has happened to Texas, but it is COLD here! I spent about 90% of my time under a heated blanket while in my apartment. Warm and toasty blankets are the BEST! But then you never want to move. Anyway, I’m just hoping it will be spring soon! I can’t take the cold!

But last week, Staci and I had a fun dinner date together! And for dinner, we branched out and tried some place new neither of us had been to. We went to one of Stephen Pyles’ restaurants, Samar, for dinner. Stephen Pyles is a very well known chef based here in Dallas, and Samar is one of his three restaurants in the area. A long time ago, I went to Stephen Pyles’ main restaurant with my mom for happy hour. As much as I would like to go there for dinner, it is SUPER expensive. Luckily, Samar was not too bad!

Samar is mainly a tapas restaurants, taking influences from Spanish, Eastern Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine. Staci and I both started our meal out with a cocktail.

drink

It was called the Pink Flamenco, which had a mink of pink grapefruit belvedere vodka, pama liqueur, and a side garnish of grapefruit. It was very good and not super sweet! Due to the tapas style of this restaurant, Staci and I shared the rest of the food. First up was the Mediterranean side of the menu. We began our meal with the Fatoush Salad.

fatoosh

The dressing was tahini based, and came topped with shaved beets, sweet peppers, toasted naan chips, and flavored with Za’atar, which is a type of Mediterranean spice.

Then we had some zucchini and feta fritters

fritters

While they were fried, they were not greasy in the least and came topped with fennel, shaved radish, with a lemon vinaigrette sauce. Very nice flavor combinations that complemented each other well. Next came two dishes inspired by India. The first one was a Lamb “Lollipop” which was one of the most interesting dishes of the night.

lamb lollipops

They were so cute! I thought these “lollipops” were going to be like a little leg of lamb. Nope! It was actually something liked pulled lamb that was mixed with something that helped them to stay together, and then fried on a stick. I don’t really know what was in it or how exactly they made it, but it was good none-the-less. The plate came with two sauces: a black garlic vindaloo and a yogurt sauce. Delectable!

Out final dish was the tandoori chicken butter masala.

masala

This was most similar to something you would get at an Indian restaurant; flavorful and fluffy rice, with the tandoori chicken bathed in a creamy and flavorful butter masala sauce. All you needed was some garlic naan for a great meal by itself!

We decided against getting anything from the Spanish inspired side of the menu, because nothing really caught our attention as being amazing. But if I go back, I might try something from that side just to see what it’s like. I’m sure it’s amazingly delicious, because what the menu indicated, for the most part, was very different than what was served. But I don’t think this is a bad thing! It was all very unique with flavor combinations I wouldn’t expect. I would happily return!

After this restaurant, I’m eager to try Stephen Pyles’ brand new restaurant that just opened a few weeks ago, Stampede 66.

And I apologize for the quality of the pictures. It was so dark in the restaurant I had no idea at the time if the pictures were actually going to come out! With a little photo editing, I got some images that you could actually recognize. Next time I’ll bring my big camera and not rely on my phone. 

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