Arts District Dining

Stephan Pyles' San Salvaje plots salsa attack on Dallas Arts District

Stephan Pyles' San Salvaje plots salsa attack on Dallas Arts District

Stephan Pyles, San Salvaje
New Arts District restaurant San Salvaje will take over the old Samar space with a new design and a Latin-American theme. Photo courtesy of San Salvaje

Chef Stephan Pyles has an opening date for San Salvaje, his new Latin-American restaurant taking over the old Samar space: April 28.

Spanish for "wild saint," San Salvaje is described by Pyles as "a play on Latin America’s long history of blending pagan and Catholic beliefs into a cohesive, beautiful dance."

Executive chef will be Alex Astranti, currently executive sous-chef at Stampede 66. "It's always a great comfort to have a long working relationship with the person in charge of a new kitchen," Pyles says in a release.

The release also says that the new owners of 2100 Ross Avenue told Pyles at the end of 2013 they would be closing Samar during a remodel of the building. They offered to update Samar or finish out a new concept.

"I wanted to do a restaurant that represents all of Latin America because of my extensive travels in Mexico, Central and South America," Pyles says. "Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Brazil will be well represented on the menu, but it will also have influences from Cuba and the Caribbean."

Interior architect tvsdesign from Atlanta, in partnership with MEP Design, will enlarge the restaurant by enclosing a portion of the patio. New finishes will include natural stone, metal lanterns, colorful fabrics, ancient tribal masks that celebrate traditional ceremonies of South America and a wall of crosses.

There will be an exhibition kitchen with counter seating, full bar and lounge, dining room seating for 70, and private dining for 10, with views of the Arts District. An expanded patio will incorporate a bocce ball court and a Tristan Al-Haddad sculpture made from ribbon-like, magenta steel.

The cocktail list will include Latin drinks such as caipirinhas, mojitos, pisco sours and a signature drink called the chicha morada, a Peruvian drink made from purple corn, pineapple and Pisco, a grape brandy.

Live music on the weekends will be a significant fixture, as so much of the Latin culture is about high energy and passion for the rhythm of life — ranging from the dances of salsa, merengue, tango, rumba, cha-cha-cha, mambo and samba.