Saturday, February 7, 2009

Practicing Eating at Nick & Sam's Grill

About the 3rd time my fork fell on the ground, the Boy and Sister started teasing me. But there was so much food on the table, it left very little space for things like bread plates and silverware. The whole Sevy family had been invited to the practice, or mock dinner at the new Nick & Sam's Grill, on the corner of Fairmount and Cedar Springs. Of course I don't review restaurants on this blog, just consider this an introduction.

With a black enamel finish, the bar area at the entry lends sophistication and a perfect background for the beautiful oil paintings on the wall (many by artist/owner Phil Romano). Doors on the front of the building open wide, making the bar and patio (one of two patios) a part of the busy urban setting outside. The Boy said the style and feel of it reminded him of Gramercy Tavern, and we couldn't disagree, but maybe using more black paint.

We decided to sit in the bar, half inside-half out, so I didn't get a view of the other dining area, but the second patio (on the side of the building) was enclosed and we could see a fireplace within through the plastic drapes. We were early, but they had quite a few tables already seated, and the servers were spot on. Of course in this economy there are many good people available, and Nick & Sam's Grill seems to have picked only the very best.

Beginning with a house specialty drink, a blood orange martini, immediately upon being seated the food started flowing from Samir Dhurandar's kitchen - we never saw a menu. A basket of homemade potato chips, very lightly salted, thick and crunchy was followed by their guacamole and chips, prettily assembled with a garnish of chopped tomatoes on top. Hummous, topped with olive oil and pine nuts, and accompanied with toasted pita was hard to share with everyone. And surprisingly, while three of us aren't big lamb fans, their Chicken Fried Lamb Ribs left four plates with only the bones on them.

Second round, salads. Their House Salad is one I would order again, thinly sliced strawberries and pumpkin seeds with a light (not overly sweet) vinaigrette. Their Asian Chicken Salad included snap peas and had a chicken breast with it's skin-on (well kind of, it was so crispy that it curled away from the meat) I didn't ask Samir, but it looked like it had been rotisseried. Finally, a delightful Taco Salad, with ground beef and all the fixings, tomatoes, kidney beans, cheese and a ranch-styled dressing. Samir said they also have three other salads: a Salmon Salad, the Romano Salad and a Chopped Salad.

Entrees kept up the high standards, somehow the NY Strip ended up in front of the Boy, he shared a 1/2" x 1/2" piece with each of us before it was gone (oh to be 17 and able to eat that much), it came with a small fry basket full of thick, fluffy french fries, served still piping hot. I landed the Chicken Fried Pork Chop, tender, easy to slice and definitely not greasy, it was served with a canning jar full of Greek salad, a delightfully arranged layering of orzo, black olives, lettuce, and feta. Jim had the Striped Sea Bass and Stir Fried Vegetables (confession - not a seafood eater myself, he loved it), and Sister had the dish all the servers whispered to us to request, The Grown-Up Grilled Cheese, yum. Served in a three-sectioned plate, with a small salad and some of the best Tomato Basil soup I've had, I'm not going to spoil the surprise of what's in this sandwich. I'll only say, the waiters are absolutely right, and were thanked appropriately.

There were no desserts available at that time, and we were good with that. While I don't review restaurants on this blog, let's just say we'll be going back.


Classy&Sassy said...

Oh, boy - can't wait! Do you know when they officially open?

Amy Severson said...

I called today (10:30), it might be a little early because I got a machine. They were supposed to open last night (Monday), but if you want to check, their phone number is (214) 303-1880.