There is something inviting about shared plates that springs the convivial spirit that emanates through out the passages of Samar located on downtown’s Ross Avenue. The friendly banter between chef and guest, the knowing nods from the line cooks in the most open kitchen in Dallas and the spot on friendly service makes this unusual restaurant inviting with a charge that beckons a repeat visit.
Last evening proved similarly special as chef-owner Stephan Pyles and his executive chef Jon Thompson prepared a small feast in celebration of the Spanish festival, la Tomatina ,and the tomato was king for a day.
The rogue festival, given birth from odd clannish roots, has evolved into one of the largest tomato fights in the world. The one day tomato toss rivals the Indian holiday Holi in messy fun and camaraderie.
Last evening at the Dallas restaurant there was little tomato play, unless you count the tasty heirlooms that nestled our plates at Samar’s quieter version of la Tomatina.
But you would have enjoyed not only a fantastic meal, but also a floor show that included flamenco dancers donning castanet’s and backed by Spanish guitars and drums. The dancing and music set the tone for the evening as we were served a variety of dishes that were equally as festive.
The dinner included special dinner that will include Adnalusia Gazpacho, Tomato Watermelon and Valdeon ( a pungent Spanish blue cheese wrapped in Sycamore leaves) Salad, and Mangalitsa Pork with Grilled Leeks and Smoked Tomato Sofritto, – all fantastically wine paired. For those that have not tried the wooly pig (Mangalitsa Pork) I can only compare it to a well prepared Kobe steak. It has a lush flavor that is near beef like in taste and mouthfeel. A true treat.
Thompson served the skirt steak from the pork and had to source the ingredient across the country due to its scarcity and limited amounts of skirt per pig.
The evening was festive as it was fun. Look for similar festivals that Pyles plans to celebrate very soon.