Last night we attended the grand opening celebration of Nora, the newest incarnation from that family that brought us the highly regarded restaurant Afghan Grill. The beautiful restaurant is long and lean inside with a nice sized patio that is inviting. The event was attended by friends and family of the owners, Rosalind Lynam and Matt Pikar. Rosalind whizzed about the restaurant making guests feel comfortable while husband Matt bounced between kitchen and tables.
The restaurant is located on Lowest Greenville Avenue and has actually been open for some weeks during an initial soft opening that has attracted many hungry guests who are already swearing by the food and recipes of Pikar. It is the quintessential family restaurant.
“The concept, if there is one, is like a foreign place that feels like home,” said Lynam, “We are excited about the neighborhood and the renovations we went through. We hope the whole street does well and want to see some other businesses coming in.”
In terms of the food, this is the third restaurant that Pikar has opened. In 2001 the chef opened his first Afghan Grill in Washington DC but left to join his family in Dallas. He then opened his second Afghan Grill in North Dallas.
“At Afghan grill we have a loyal base of people but we feel that the Dallas scene has not experienced this type of food like we want them to. Some of our signature dishes are like Qabili Palao, it is like the national dish of Afghanistan. It is saffron rice with carrots and raisins, served with grilled lamb or chicken. Also we served Kadu, which is a pumpkin dish that is sautéed and served with a meat sauce. It is sort of sweet and savory at the same time and very popular.” continued Lynam.
One of the aspects of the restaurant that these owners are particularly proud of is their new cocktail menu that is infused with cardamom, green teas and pomegranates. Fresh and flavorful concoctions like the signature Stella Nora is a happy blend of Cardamom infused vodka with cucumber, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and cointreau, served on the rocks. Refreshing.
The Stella Nora is named after the couple’s daughters, both Stella who is two and a half, and Nora who is eight months.
The restaurant was in fact named after daughter Nora, which might be a slight on the older daughter Stella.
“Stella is quite a lucky lady. She got everything brand new and Nora has a lot of hand-me-downs, so we wanted to give her something that is just hers,” smiled Lynam as she held up baby Nora who seemed very happy to be in her namesake restaurant.
Nora the restaurant is located at 1908 Greenville Avenue in Dallas.