by Steven Doyle
The Peruvian dish, tacu-tacu is this amazing staple that was brought to South America via African slaves. It is a humbled dish that has survived generations and is made of rice and beans prepared with a side of fried plantains, or fried eggs. At the new Stephan Pyles restaurant, San Salvaje, tacu-tacu is served with a caramelized banana and a thick slab of seared foie gras. It is earthy, supple and delicious, all at once.
San Salvaje replaces the beautiful but tiny Samar at 2100 Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas, and celebrates cuisine found anywhere south of Harligen, according to Pyles. This could mean most anything, from Mexico, across to Cuba, and definitely Peru where you could find tacu-tacu on any plate on any given day.
Foie Gras Tacu Tacu
The remodel of the space at 2100 meant extending the building out to encompass much of what was the patio that faces Ross Avenue. There is still a patio, but now with fanciful picnic tables, and soon a bocce ball court protected by a fence line. Inside, the tables are subtly colored to match the specific zones of the restaurant, with South American beautiful artwork to lend itself relevant to the adjacent Arts District where San Salveje is located. The decor is festive, but not garish. It is open, with ample table room designed for leisurely conversing, and dining with many plates in mind.
The name San Salvaje means “wild saint”, which could definitely describe Pyles, who has been a relevant patron saint of dining in Dallas for so many years, and has kept his concepts fresh and inviting.
“I wanted to do a restaurant that represents all of Latin America because of my extensive travels in Mexico, Central and South America. Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Brazil will be well represnted on the menu, but will also have some influences from Cuba and the Caribbean,” said Pyles today at a press luncheon that introduced us to the new restaurant.
Causa Limena, Spicy Shrimp, Quail Egg
Modern Ropa Vieja, Plaintains, Black Beans & Rice
The wine list will showcase South America varietals, as well as Latin cocktails such as Pisco Sours and Caipirinhas. Chicha Morada (we discussed those last month on craveDFW) will also be featured. They are made with Peruvian purple corn, pineapple and spices. As traditionally made, the drink will be infused with Pisco Porton.
Look for live music on the weekends, and be prepared to show off your cha-cha, merengue and salsa skills.
“Celebrating the Latin culture with its diversity, high-spiritedness, and much loved customs and traditions gives a really broad canvass to paint San Salvaje on,” said Pyles.
Look for the new restaurant to open possibly late next week.