WHAT TO EAT: Nowhere is that stylish, casual vibe more apparent than with executive chef Samir Dhurandhar’s menu. It’s a comforting blend of hearty steak house faves (New York Strip, striped bass, and Nick & Sam’s popular macaroni and cheese) and lighter lunchtime fare. One could easily make a meal of the generous starters. Teriyaki glazed chicken drumettes and delicately fried calamari with cherry peppers were both gobbled up as soon as they hit the table, as was a plate of barbeque-slathered beef sliders and shoestring potatoes. On another visit, Kaffir lime and lemongrass scented mussels had heads swooning.
Not surprisingly, the steak house sibling gets its meatier entrées right. The aforementioned New York Strip was a juicy, slightly charred delight served with those same crunchy “Damn Good” fries Romano serves at all of his restaurants. Baby back ribs glazed in guava barbeque sauce and Sam’s roasted chicken were favorites and surprisingly well-priced, each only $12. The affordable prices are yet another testament to Nick & Sam’s Grill’s balancing act: a mix of style, comfort, and approachability. Whether you’re talking Mavericks or mergers, Romano’s latest success story is a good fit for all.
NICK & SAM’S GRILL
2816 Fairmount St.
THE FOOD: All-American, comfort fare
THE COST: Average lunch entrée price $14
WHO’S THERE: John Sughrue, Greg Weaver, Ramon Longoria, Jack Brown
FULL BAR: Yes
THE POWER TABLE: The street-side patio to see and be seen; the upstairs balcony (reservations required) for privacy.