Plano’s nightlife is at its best at The Shops at Legacy with a slew of restaurants, the Angelika Film Center, and of course, Sambuca 360, a swank nightclub that cliques, couples and singles ready to mingle flock to for dancing and drinks. No doubt, Sambuca 360 is hotter by night than by day, but this doesn’t mean happy endings can’t begin at noon. Lunch is always a party with the Divas!
Ok, no drinks were had, but certainly good food and conversation were in the mix, including the history of Sambuca. In short, this Plano restaurant began as a small jazz club in Dallas that played host to celebrity musicians. As its reputation grew, so did business with larger, upscale restaurants opening in Houston and Nashville, and the original restaurant moving to Uptown. Coming full circle with a more casual ambiance, a nod to its early days, Sambuca 360 opened in Plano and has maintained a reputation for being the place to see and be seen, particularly in the evenings when live music draws a crowd.
Lunch, however, is a different story: quieter, more relaxed; a vacant stage; and not even a wait. The Divas sit right down and order the baked Goat Cheese-Stuffed Artichokes ($11.25). Filled with a rich, creamy dollop of goat cheese and garnished with finely diced tomato, three toast points are served, which Rebecca declares is her favorite way to eat the starter. “The crispy toast is a nice contrast with the creaminess of the goat cheese,” she observes.
Brit’s spoon is hiding in the Hummus Trio ($8.75). She relishes each of the three versions of mashed chickpeas, which are served with bits of toasted pita bread. Her favorite is the traditional version seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, and lots of garlic. The other two more contemporary options are flavored with roasted red bell peppers and beets.
While the Divas are off to a good start, we can’t help but wonder, where is the lunch crowd? “I’ve been to incredible parties here in the evenings,” says Brit. “A band plays on the stage behind the bar, and there are two elevated, roped-off sections for VIPs,” she points out.
Early in the week, Sambuca 360 presents low-key, acoustic music, and as the week progresses, the entertainment picks up. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, the restaurant truly lives up to its slogan, “A Rockin’ Grill.”
Lunch arrives and the Chicken-Fried Ribeye ($14) is melt-in-your-mouth good. The ribeye steak is fried to a golden brown and topped with freshly-made sausage gravy. Smashed potatoes and steamed broccoli accompany the generous portion of tender beef, which proves to be a hearty lunch selection.
Rebecca’s admits, “I’ve never had sausage gravy,” and Brit’s quick to respond, “Welcome to Texas! It’s a staple in the south, just like these butterly delicious mashed potatoes.”
For a vegetarian, gluten-free option, the Grilled Portobello with Quinoa ($13.25) is Diva-approved. A bed of perfectly cooked asparagus spears are topped with quinoa, a popular protein-rich grain, and lightly charred strips of Portobello. Roasted red pepper coulis completes the dish.
“I expected a stuffed portobello,” says Barbara nicely surprised. “This is charred but in a good way because quinoa can be so bland, and the asparagus makes the dish,” she adds. “It tastes grilled and has a smoky flavor. The combination of flavors in this dish make it good; I don’t recommend eating it one element at a time.”
“I prefer the chicken-fried ribeye,” says Rebecca going in for seconds, or thirds? (It’s okay, she’s pregnant.)
And finally, what we’ve been waiting for––dessert! The Decadent Chocolate Toffee Torte ($6.50) is made with little or no flour, and the cake’s smooth texture reminds the Divas of biting into a rich chocolatey truffle. The slice of cake is topped with crumbled Heath candy bar pieces, a drizzle of caramel, whipped cream, and sliced strawberries.
“It is a chocolate lover’s dream,” says Brit, “and I believe it’s cooked with some sort of wine.” (We ask our server, Mackenzie, and she confirms our suspicion.)
“This is delicious,” says Rebecca, devouring our second dessert, the Cheesecake Sopapilla ($7). “Surprisingly, it’s not too sweet.” The sopapillas are crisp, deep-fried pastry tubes stuffed with cheesecake filling and dusted with cinnamon sugar. An even nicer surprise is that Plano’s own Henry’s Homemade cinnamon ice cream makes a luscious complement to the dessert.
“Anything with caramel is a hit for me,” confesses Barbara. “Both desserts are a hit. Both are excellent.”
A happy ending all around.
Sambuca 360 Grill
The Shops at Legacy
7200 Bishop Rd., #270, Plano
469.467.3393 | sambuca360.com
Hours: Sundays–Wednesdays: 11–1am | Thursdays–Saturdays: 11–2am