The new Nick & Sam's Grill in Park Cities (8111 Preston Road) opened last week. This is the second "grill" location, and the menu differs from its sister location in Uptown, although it pulls some items from Coal Vines and Nick & Sam's Steakhouse, all of which are on the same family tree.
(Sara Blankenship is a regular contributor of words to the City of Ate and her brother, Richard Blankenship, is the chef at this new spot. But we refuse to believe any of the stories she tells us about him.)
Parking is sparse around this Chase Bank complex, but tip-based valets are happy to help you with that. The restaurant space is huge. A large slightly casual dining room is at the front of the restaurant anchored by a bar, with windows that open up to the breezy Preston Road. On Friday at lunch there were yoga pants with white wine in that particular section.
Further back, into a more eloquent dining room, are the serious lunchers. Large gray semi-circular booths line one wall, with a spattering of gray tables and more booths along the perimeters. Black octopus-like chandeliers with upside top hats dangle from overhead. The attentive wait staff in starched gray shirts blend in well with booths, walls and general ambiance.
Frank Sinatra fills in the quiet mood, and with the lights low the vibe is more like a lounge then the typical Dallas "grill."
An L-shaped open kitchen is tucked in the back and gives the perception of a walk-up style deli, but it's not. There are several private dining rooms behind different walls and many many bottles of wine stacked to the ceiling.
A complimentary bowl of house-baked taro chips are easy to finish off while perusing the menu. The choices differ from the original Nick and Sam's Grill in Uptown and consist of a few requisite steaks, Coal Vines-inspired pizza, roasted chicken, sushi, salads, sandwiches (an open faced steak sandwich was a looker) and fish (seared Scottish salmon). The meat for the burger is sourced from Pat LaFrieda and Sons in New Jersey.
The sushi menu includes a spicy tuna and crisp rice dish (photo above, $9), baked crab roll, a rainbow roll with snow crab, yellow tail, tuna, salmon, spicy ponzu and a crispy shrimp roll with salmon
The pastry chef had a run on the on the pumpkin crème brulee topped topped with a roasted marshmallows, so I went for a house-made warm apple cake with a small scoop of caramel gelato.
The most expensive thing on the menu is $15. My bill was only $20, and I probably got more than I should have. Not bad for a Park Cities lounge. Or grill.