Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Restaurants & Bars

Texas Dallas-Fort Worth

Sambuca Uptown [Dallas] --A Review


Restaurants & Bars 6

Sambuca Uptown [Dallas] --A Review

TheSingleGourmet | Jun 24, 2005 12:16 PM

Here’s an account of dinner we had at Sambuca Uptown last night. I’d eaten there before but seeing as we tried just about everything last night, I though I’d pass this on.

We arrived shortly before 8:00 last night and were confronted by a little snooty man full of lots of Dallas attitude (why am I surprised?). While they “got our table ready” we gave the place the once over and one of the girls bought some jewelry from a company that was showing in the courtyard, after which we retired to the bar so that others could watch the basketball game. We started the evening off with some wine and cocktails, including a fruity “Georgia Peach,” a strong Cosmo, and a white chocolate martini, which, was really good.

At about 8:20, we’re led to the back of the restaurant to the (almost) private room. I suppose we looked like a rowdy bunch of ten, so that was the best place for us. We ordered the appetizer sampler “for ten” so they must have made some stuff up and brought it out. On the platters were crab cakes, filet empanadas, shrimp, and ceviche. The crab cakes were bad (in a gone off) way yet the ceviche was fine. The shrimp was fresh and drizzled in a light sauce and some of the empanadas remained untouched, for whatever reason.

Some of us had salads, the notable one of which was the yellow, red tomato and mozzarella salad, drizzled in a delicious vinaigrette. For dinner, we pretty much ordered everything on the menu. Naturally, I had the New Zealand rack of lamb served with fresh vegetables and the signature sauce of the evening. Last night, is was the berry beurre blanc, which actually wasn’t bad. A little fruity, but it grew on me. As a side, I ordered the cheddar, bacon and scallion mashed potatoes which were really very good. Here’s what everyone else had: Whiskey injected grilled pork chop, served with ruby red port reduction, beefsteak tomatoes and potato corn hash. It was okay, but the “potato corn hash” resembled southwestern salsa; Miso glazed, pan seared sea bass, served on caramelized apples, bok choy, cherry tomatoes and lemongrass scented rice. This was a great combination and the apples didn’t harm the dish; Filet and New York Strip steaks (no complaints heard) and the sun-dried cherry, apricot spinach and mascarpone cheese stuffed chicken breast with vegetables and a herbed beurre blanc sauce.

However, the most interesting dish was the “Seafood Integration.” Two of our party had it. The menu describes it as “shrimp and potato crusted red snapper, jumbo lump crab, and yellowfin tuna, stacked with roasted new potatoes, asparagus, roasted tomato and portobello mushroom in a cilantro avocado pesto sauce.” What a mouthful, but the dish delivered. It was literally everything stacked up with a skewer running through it, although you had to take it apart to eat it.

By dessert, we could only manage the molten chocolate cake and the chocolate mousse! Each was adequate, though we wished we’d ordered the creme brulee. For dinner wine, we settled on a couple of bottles of Rodney Strong Cabernet (hey, we’re on a budget!), and a good time was had by all. Especially when the check came as the whole tab, including drinks and wine, was only a little over $600. Not bad really.

Now the bad parts. With a group this large (and isolated), it was difficult to get the servers attention. Also, the temperature of the food was not as hot as it could have been (probably because they were trying to get all ten dishes out at the same time). And they really should check the crab meat before serving as it really had gone bad.

Will I go back? Probably, but I’d be careful about what I eat there.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound