Alright, it's official, I have a new restaurant to add to my list of favorites: Chez Sam!
I rarely branch out from my favorite Greek or Portuguese restaurants, but we recently went out with a group of friends and decided that we were all in the mood for some Spanish tapas...
After a bit of hesitation, we decided upon Chez Sam - and what a good choice it was!
We started the meal out with a drink. Since I was in a Spanish restaurant, I took a sangria. It was a very good choice!
I usually find sangria to be too sweet or too strong, but this one was just right. And the fruit was fresh and edible - you could tell it hadn't been sitting in the wine for hours, getting all mushy water-logged with the alcohol.
When it came time to order our meal, we asked Sam to serve us tapas-style so we could taste a little bit of everything. He even asked right away of there was anyone who couldn't or didn't want to eat something.
I stepped aside with him and discussed my dietary obligations. He said he would choose a couple dishes for me that I would get a full serving of, and he would also provide a serving of each for the group to share as well.
He chose very well! I got a full serving of squid in ink, of tomato and egg pistou and a fresh octopus and bell pepper salad! All three were delicious and new to me - I couldn't even decide which one I liked more!
I was served those three plates at the beginning, and the rest of my table was served little by little. Most of the dishes that came their way were off limits to me, but I snagged a taste each time I could.
For example, the vinegar anchovies were so good! I wish I could have eaten more. I also got a piece of prosciutto-type ham, a chicken liver in tomato sauce, and some cold green beans cooked with onions.
We drank red wine with the meal, and finished things off with a coffee or a tea. A complimentary digestive drink was offered at the end. Sam proposed a choice of sweet alcohols, but when I asked for something a bit dryer, he suggested I try the cognac.
The cognac was very soft without much character, but it was a nice alternative to the sickly-sweet alcohols first offered.
The meal ended up being about 25€ per person, drinks included, but if you're on a tighter budget, there is also the Plat du Jour at only 9€50. The menu changes daily and everything is "homemade" by the owner's wife.
So, if you're in the area and wanting to try something a bit different, give Sam and his wife a visit - the food is well worth it, and the greeting you'll receive is warm and genuine!