Restaurant Review: Nora Restaurant and Bar on Greenville Avenue in Dallas

Nora’s qabili palao and Matt Pikar. (Photography by Kevin Marple)

 In the November issue of D Magazine, I review Nora Restaurant and Bar. I’d eat there once or twice a week if it was in my neighborhood. Lucky for me owner Matt Pikar’s Afghan Grill is in my wheelhouse. I can’t live without it.

Chef/owner Matt Pikar’s successful Afghan Grill in North Dallas draws a faithful crowd of international diners. When he decided to open another restaurant with a similar menu, he smartly assessed that he would encounter too many fussy, Archie Bunker-style diners on lowest Greenville, so he named his new outpost Nora Restaurant and Bar. The name doesn’t imply that you will find a menu filled with exotic concoctions created from various combinations of pumpkin, eggplant, leeks, spinach, chickpeas, lamb, meatballs, and chicken. If you can get your meat-and-potato-minded friends in the front door, they will leave satisfied and enlightened. Start with the kadu, thick slices of sautéed pumpkin covered with a slightly sweet and spicy yogurt meat sauce laced with onions, tomatoes, garlic, cloves, turmeric, cardamom, and mint. If that is too much of a leap, then pick more familiar items such as grape leaves, hummus, or sambosa goshti, a savory baked pastry pie. Entrées include qabili palao, tender bits of lamb sautéed with a handful of carrots and raisins. Meat dumplings are steamed and served beneath yogurt meat sauce with a swift kick of mint. The Archies in your group will gravitate to a grilled rib-eye or beef kofta (ground beef sausage) kabob served with saffron rice.

Jump for the finale.