Nick & Sam's bills itself as "an Uptown Steakhouse". The first time I was there, I knew I was going to like it.
SETTING - The elegant Oak Lawn area on the edge of downtown Dallas.
FOOD - The courses are more creative than the standard steakhouse, particularly the side dishes. The chef-driven menu (chef Samir Dhurandhar) goes well beyond steak-and- potatoes. And I have never been there that my steak was not done to perfection. I suggest that you check out the restaurant and menu at their web site.
WINE - Extensive wine list (450 labels, they say) and of course not cheap. Nick & Sam's also sets itself apart by offering "flights of wines" at their Flight Bar -- you get to chose and sample 3 two-ounce pours from pre-selected categories, or build your own. A great way to get warmed up for the main event to follow.
AMBIANCE - Urbane and contemporary. The interior is dark and dramatic. The bar is rocking every time I visit. The wait-staff will treat you like royalty.
DOWNSIDE? - This place is popular, and on a really busy night, I have sometimes experienced a wait for a table, even with a reservation.
RESERVATIONS - Don't even think about going without one.
BOTTOM LINE - Nick & Sam's is one-of-a-kind -- not a chain -- and the crowds that it continues to draw tell the story.