Haute Event: One Year Anniversary for Stephan Pyles’ Samar

Stephan Pyles can do no wrong in Dallas, given his 25 years in the local restaurant circuit, opening some 15 restaurants since his first venture, Routh Street Cafe, in 1983. After being touted as one of the founding fathers of Southwestern Cuisine, Pyles tried his hand at creating more foreign fare with his latest eatery, Samar, which celebrated its one year annivesrsary Friday evening.

Complete with belly dancer performances, hookah specials and a lively bar scene, the party reflected the regions purveyed in Samar’s menu: Spain, India and the Eastern Mediterranean. Samar, which literally translates as “pillow talk” in Arabic, is decked out in Middle Eastern-style lanterns, sheer curtains and colorful detailing, with a patio offering views of downtown from the tables under crimson tents. It’s all very Aladdin, and the cuisine says so, too.

Perfect for group settings or intimate dates, the tapas-style dishes are sized and priced just right to allow enjoyment of a wealth of options. Divided by region, guests can sample Asturian Beans and Clam Stew (Fabes Con Almejas), some Peekytoe Crab Fritters with Celery-Citrus Salpicon (Croquetas Del Cangrejo) and seared pork tenderloin for one course, and then dive into another country with some Fatoush and Hummus on Rosemary-Garlic Naan. Add to that a killer wine and cocktail list (the Samartini ran for a mere $5 at the celebration), and perhaps a hookah with apple tobacco, and you’re in for some night.

Stephan Pyles’ Samar, 2100 Ross Avenue, 214.922.9922, www.samarrestaurant.com