Visited the new Sambuca in the old Salve location at the foot of McKinney Ave Saturday night and was pleasantly and unpleasantly surprised. The pleasant part was the room which was designed specifically for diners to enjoy the jazz. There are 2 long "captains" tables which each seat about 16 people that are set perpendicular to the stage thus giving a large number of diners a prime view of the music. Nice touch. Also nice was the menu which has evolved from the dreadfully average mediterranean fare served at the previous Deep Ellum location into a normal New American Dallas menu (salmon, sea bass, filet, stuffed chicken, etc). It doesn't break any new ground but it is better than before.
Egregiously unpleasant was the wine list. Hands down the worst prices I have ever seen. A $15 of Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant was $65. $65. $65. I have to keep telling myself that it must have been my eyes in bad light. We told the waitress what we thought and then ordered cocktails all night. We didn't save any money but at least we could drink "the good stuff" instead of some tired $8 bottle of Clos du Bois for $30+. The other annoying thing is that for a jazz bar, it isn't. If you are in the bar you cannot see nor hear the band. What genius had that thought? Buy dinner or no music for you!
The other anomaly of the evening were the patrons. Undoubtedly, Sambuca is the cross roads of Dallas. I saw as many polished wingtips as I did dilapidated flipflops and as many bare midriffs with thong undies as I did long skirts and sequined bustiers.
I doubt I'll go back but I have to say it was memorable. But for more wrong reasons than right.