Stephan Pyles' replacement for Samar was announced earlier this week. San Salvaje, which translates to "wild saint," is expected to open at the end of this month, and it sounds like it's shaping up to be the most interesting restaurant he's opened to date.
The old Samar focused on Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, capturing flavors along portions of the Silk Road. With San Salvaje (San Sal-vah-hay), Pyles the Culinary Conquerer will start with the small border town of Harlingen and move southward, not stopping until he's captured the essence of every country from Mexico to Argentina, Peru to Brazil and all the way out to Cuba and the islands of the Caribbean.
Then things get a little crazy.
Pyles says his new restaurant will celebrate "the union of pagan indigenous culture with a host of saints revered in Latin America." To help set the scene his dining room will enclose a portion of Samar's old patio and fill the space with natural stone, metal lanterns, colorful indigenous fabrics and ancient tribal masks. If that's not creepy enough, crosses of various sizes and materials will be displayed on a wall. Vampires and possessed souls will not feel welcomed here.
When Pyles first announced this new project, I called him boring. Now I don't know what to say. This sounds like a good place to slam back some ayahuasca and take your being to a higher spiritual dimension, all before you grab an empanada and a taco.
San Salvaje is expected to open April 28. Expect a lot of photos.