Last night I stopped by Stephan Pyle’s Samar on Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas to check out the goings on with a new dining club called Fine Dining With Friends that just recently popped up on Facebook. The newly formed club is the brainchild of Shelly Knowlton, a local food enthusiast who wanted to gather friends and share some fantastic dinners together.
Knowlton selected Samar as her first location because it was more casual and had a varied menu that would appeal to a large group. Samar also had the ability to easily adjust the menu for the handful of vegans in attendance. There were just over twenty guests in attendance out of a group of a growing fifty. Samar executive chef Jonathan Thompson was on hand to discuss each dish and field questions from the group.
The menu featured samplings from the entire menu including inspirations from Spain such as the infamous Foie Gras Brulee Pedro Ximenez Quince and Crispy Jamon Serrano and Mussels Marinated Escabeche with Pears, Sherry, and Serrano Chili Infused Cream Broth.
Selections from the Eastern Mediterranean included Pheasant Tagine with Bosc Pears, Hazelnuts, Brown Butter and the newest addition to the menu, Dried Fruit Couscous and Seared Bay Scallops with Olive Oil Poached Potatoes, Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Grapeleaf Vinaigrette.
There were plenty of Indian inspired dishes as well such as the Fish Curry of the Day with Seasonal Vegetables and Saffron-Scented Basmati Rice and the Boneless Beef Short Ribs in Ginger Garam Masala Spiced Curry with Saffron Rice.
There were twelve dishes served in total, and at the end of the evening the guests were invited to the Samar patio to enjoy the beautiful weather, hookahs and Turkish coffee.
Knowlton said she plans on having a few events each month with a kicked up happy in between each dinner. The dinners will range in pricing depending on the location. She also has plans for some secret underground dinners. To join the club check out her Facebook group.
If you have a similar club you would like for us to check out drop us a line.