I had the most wonderful celebration on the day of my 40th birthday.
Several friends and I had lunch at Samar in the Arts District in downtown Dallas.
Fancy teas, hand selected by the chef all over the world displayed in a fancy little box. Oh la la!
Our waiter suggested we order a "chef's tasting" menu. It was just perfect. He brought several dishes and we all shared. We started with flatbread, hummus, Baba ghanous and a delicious yogurt spread.
The first courses were inspired by Spanish cuisine. Samar's menu is made up of "international small plates" meant to be shared. These roasted peppers were delicious. Kind of like Spanish edamame.
It was a lovely setting -- modern, international, sleek. I made a set of fabric ATC's with this image for each of my lunch-mates as a thank you for sharing my celebration.
We had a great table in a little alcove. You can see the Tres Vasos dish in the foreground on the table. (This dish received lots of buzz in local press.)
Here is our charming waiter telling us how the chef recommends we enjoy the Tres Vasos.
Karen and I had particularly high hopes for the Tres Vasos since we had read several reviews lauding the sublime culinary experience. We were utterly disappointed. But, the surprising disappointment and the wildly contrived flavors made for lots of interesting conversation.
We finished Spain with egg, potatoes, and foie gras. Divine.
The other dishes came from the eastern Mediterraian and India. I'm not sure I can remember exactly which is which and what came first... it was all so wonderful.
Little pumpkin fritters topped with crab.This must be India... shrimp with fried okra, excellent chicken curry and something with lamb. Or was it veal?
And then there was dessert....
(By the way, do you recognize my face in that shot?)
In addition to the empanadas and rice pudding above, we also had ginger fritters and an amazing Turkish chocolate coffee pot de creme. My friends each made a lovely ATC for me. So wonderful.
Later, Claire and Benjamin and I enjoyed some birthday brownies and ice cream!
Jeff was out of town and I really missed him, but we are planning a pretty amazing celebration trip in February.
Forty is all good.