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Oct 27, 2009 11:37 AM

Samar review

My husband and I went to Samar last night we had our little 8 year old daughter with us so I was a little nervous that it might be to much of a Bar scene. However, when we arrived in the pouring rain we were greeted warmly by the hostess and she said of course kids are welcome. We really loved the warm ambience of the place. It is very cozy and inviting. We had outstanding service from start to finish. Stephen was hands on in the kitchen and came over to our table to chat. I really enjoy it when the "Celebrity Chef" is actually at their restaurant rather than out on a book signing tour or reality show. The menu is very interesting. As other's have said it is sort of a Tapas concept. We started with drinks I had the Sangria special drink. ( Not that special but good) A really nice by the glass wine list at very good prices and also a really nice wine by he bottle list. My husband ordered a martini which was really god.

Next we ordered 2 orders of the Naan Bread. The plain with the 3 toppings and the sun dried tomato . This was fantastic a big home run. The toppings were Hummus, Baba ghanoush ans a vey thick plain yogurt.All of these were delish. I reallly liked the smokey flavor of the Baba Ghanoush.

I was a bit concerned about what to order for our daughter, but the waiter quickly came to the rescue and broght her a plain fried chicken K-bob with mashed potatos. Perfect she was thrilled with that and the bread. My husband and I ordered 5 things. The lamb pizza Yum was great I ordered a pasta dish ( we we not that crazy about the pasta. I didn't eally like the gooey texture)the pumpkin flan with shrimp -- this was amazing. like an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Loved that. then we had the fried pumpkin with crab really good the samosa which was great I think that was it. At the end of the meal we ordered two desserts. The Turkiash coffee creama and the Apple empanada's both we outstanding. Over all we loved the place and can't wait to return. Stephen Pyles as usual hit's another home run.

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  1. Your thick yogurt plain yogurt was more than likely was labneh, a plain yogurt strained overnight in a cheese cloth. You can leave plain and dip, or add herbs and garlic. Definitely drizzle olive oil on this, or fresh lemon juice.

    10 Replies
    1. re: DallasDude


      I would like to hear you review if you have been. What are some misses on the menu and then some hits. I have been looking to go but have other restaurants in the que to visit.

      1. re: LewisvilleHounder

        I thought I had on one of the other Samar threads. There are several now.

        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

          I don't think there are too many misses. Maybe the "Nine Jewels" Quail - I think they're still tweaking the recipe. Good quail but the rest of it is not particularly interesting. The Butter Chicken is really good, nice subtle spicing. The manti is good although I'm not sure I'd say it's exceptional. Tres Vasos is a must order. Naan is good. Haleem is good although it didn't wow me. I thought the almond gazpacho was fun. I'd stick mostly to the Spanish and Indian stuff if (when) I went back.

          Oh and I didn't think much of the wine list tbh.

          1. re: luniz

            I am not a huge wine fan, more a cocktail dude, so that doesn't bother me much. As LB said, the wine in Dallas is ridiculously priced so I stand clear as a habit. Sad.

            I went while downtown after work with a few friends who live down there a few days after opening, and it was early. I think I would enjoy it more late night, but I just had to try it. Was impressed. My non foodie friends were a bit dissapointed with portions, but for the prices it was nice.three or four plates and a drink for less than 30 (per person) and that would be a lot of food.

            Hit: foie gras (anything with duck liver pleases me) brulee, squash blossoms, tiger shrimp (good but not sharable), and squid with rice.

            Miss: Nothing we ordered was bad, a few things seemed smallish for the price. I am sure if you ask as you order, the waitstaff could direct you to dishes to share and dishes to be stingy with.

            We will be going back next week, after our trip to chili mecca and I will be soley with Chow people and DallasChowChick. Doubt I would order a mezza plate, as Cafe Izmir seems to give me my fix for hummus and babaganouj just fine.

            Be there no doubt, I value Pyles as a true Dallas asset, and feel he has a better pulse on the community than any other chef in Dallas.

            Speaking if wine, luniz, have you been to Dali? I have, but heard that its BYOB wine with no corkage on Sunday. Can that even be close to a fact?

            Cafe Izmir
            3707 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

            1. re: DallasDude

              Seems odd to me to, I'd call and ask I guess although I don't know why you'd want to BYOB to Dali of all places. On Sundays they have a "special" dinner menu. Maybe they are referring to the Beard House or whatever dinners but those are over.

              1. re: luniz

                Just confirmed with Mark at Dali. BYOB Sunday, 25 dollar cork. That fee depends on what you bring in however. They will not charge that on a cheaper bottle.

            2. re: luniz

              I value your views and review of Samar DD and luniz but being a foodie I am not sure it is worth it. I am just looking for something "wow" on an Indian menu. Say for instance a beet samosa that I saw on a BBC episode of Indian Made Easy. Items that are not difficult to make but you never see on a menu. I have found items at Kerala Kitchen in Carrollton that are very different. If I am shelling out $15-$25 per plate I need to be impressed and challenged at the same time.

              Kerala Kitchen
              3600 Huffines Blvd, Carrollton, TX 75010

              1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                You're not shelling out $15-$25 a dish at Samar, you're shelling out $6-$10. I'm a foodie too and Samar is perfectly seasoned, beautifully executed food. If you're not impressed and "challenged" by the menu at Samar, I want to go eat where you're eating. The Prawns with Crispy Okra and Spicy Pear Chutney and Tandoori Shish Kebob with Apricots, Cashews and Tamarind are pretty damned impressive.

                1. re: LarryHayes

                  Eat at Sabu's Catering in Carrollton on Josey and 190 behind the Cafe Brazil. Kerala style Indian not beautifully presented but very cost efficient and challenging at the same time. Order the Cabbage Thoran, Green Bean and Black Eyed Pea Avial or the Chicken Mappas.

                  Royal Sweets on MacArthur and Valley Ranch Pkwy S some of their chaat items would challenge you and not break the bank, namely the bhel puri (a free one was given to all the listeners of FunAsia Radio 104.9 FM, luckily I got my version). Also their Paneer Dosa (lentil crepe with cheese and onions) with Sambar was quite good as was their choley batura (curried garbanzos with fried naan).

                  Those are just two examples but I am not shy to push a chef's boundaries at any restaurant to see if I can get better dishes that what is on the menu. You can feel free to join me for a meal if you would like.

                  Now this is menu impressive:

                  It doesn't take much to put a masala dusted prawn (mine was barely dusted if dusted at all) with some fried okra and pear chutney. Vijay could have banged out some more challenging dishes while not alienating the crowd, but I think he was limited by Stephan Pyles. Sadly enough Vijay has left Samar and hopefully to open up a Indian restaurant of his own.

                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                    Vijay said he will open a new Indian concept soon.

                    As far as challenging goes, when I last spoke to Pyles he mentioned a menu revamp. He said that he wanted to be more adventuresome and has some nice additions planned, but was concerned as to how the items would be received. He had just come back from Spain a week or so before this conversation and had dined at El Bulli. We can hope...