Tag Archives: Samar
Just like Rivera, Samar by Dallas superchef Stephen Pyles offers food from different regions of the world. In this case, the sources of inspiration are Spain, the Eastern Mediterranean, and India. All these cultures believe in food that is meant to be sampled, passed and shared. Tapas/mezze/chaat.
There are no vegetarian large plates, which seems like a major oversight for a restaurant located in Dallas’ sophisticated museum district. But there are plenty of veggie small plates to choose from. (The more formal Stephen Pyles restaurant just down the street has not one vegetarian option. Not one.)
At Samar, my choices ranged from Spanish-inspired bread with cheese and tomato, gazpacho, and blistered green chilis. The Mediterranean section featured three spreads (hommus, moutabal, and labne), the salad fatoush, and haloumi stuffed squash blossoms. From India: lots of hyphenated naans (rosemary-garlic, sundried tomato-basil, spinach- goat cheese) and chutneys, along with vegetable samosas and chickpea masala with potato-wrapped asparagus.
And then the waiter poured the soup in from a clay pitcher:
Love the drama. It was terrific, the freshness of the heirloom tomatoes brought out by the sherry vinaigrette.
I never try to resist samosas. These were great, though they probably work better as a shared dish: buttery pastry with spinach, paneer, and red peppers inside. I’ve have preferred it without the paneer, which made it very rich.
The accompanying tamarind chipotle chutney is the kind of dish that gives fusion a good name. Tart and sweet, with a hint of fire. The waiter explained that it was made from fresh tamarind and strained several times to arrive at a silken consistency.
Samar’s space is streamlined, with judicious placement of Moroccan lamps, hookahs, and framed Indian textiles. Not elaborate by Big Hair Big D standards. I sat at the bar and had a view of the open kitchen. There are outdoor and indoor spaces, including two beautifully curtained nooks for larger groups:
I would have preferred a veggie large plate. But the small plate options I tried were satisfying. The waiter said their offerings change with the seasons — worth checking out what they do with the next season’s bounty.
Check out DallasVegan’s review of Samar.