Earlier this year Esquire magazine voted Samar by Stephan Pyles one of the best new restaurants in America. This week they finally got around to throwing a party! Several hundred of the restaurant’s closest friends sipped on rum cocktails made with Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah table wine. There were passed hors d’oeuvres of some of the menu favorites such as peekytoe crab fritters, mussels escabeche and “blistered” green Spanish chilies with hickory smoked sea salt. From the counter the staff served baba gghanoush, hummus, naan bread and Idiazabel cheese and olives marinated with garlic and hoja Santa. I spoke with execuchef Jon Thompson who said there will be steady modifications to the menu over the next few months. Stephan Pyles was also much in evidence. He is pumped up about the future prospects for Samar.