A First Taste of Âme, A New French-Indian Restaurant in Bishop Arts
Plus, the Elephant Bar, a Clandestine Jewel Box Slinging Stunning CocktailsBY Megan Ziots // 04.09.21
Chef Afifa has created classic Indian dishes with a French twist for the Âme menu. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
When you enter Âme, a U-shaped bar offers signature cocktails like the Âme G&T. (Courtesy of Ame)
Âme's decor includes velvet gold couches and Christian LaCroix's Maison de Jeu wallpaper. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
Desserts at Âme include Lavendar Malai — a chilled ricotta sponge with lavendar infused rabri. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
The Elephant Bar is a separate lounge in the back of Âme. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
French-Indian restaurant Âme is now open in Bishop Arts. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
Dishes at Âme include Anari Chicken, Cashew Chicken Tikka, and more. (Courtesy of Ame)
There are various grains and lentils to choose from at Âme including the Emerald Pilaf. (Courtesy of Ame)
The Lamb Vindaloo is one of the two lamb dishes on the menu at Âme. (Courtesy of Ame)
Âme's East India Swizzle comes with rum, banana liqueur, East India Sherry, and cane sugar. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
Âme will have weekend brunch with dishes like a French omelet. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
The Viejo Fashion at Âme is a twist on the classic Old Fashioned — made with tequila, grapefruit syrup, and orange bitters. (Photo by Kathy Tran)
Since Bishop Arts’ beloved brunch spot Hattie’s shuttered early last year (before the pandemic began), we’ve been anticipating what would take over the prime Oak Cliff space. The answer, an upscale Indian restaurant from the owners of the Dallas Farmers Market’s 8 Cloves and Laili, completely worth the wait. And today (April 9), French-Indian restaurant Âme will open its doors to guests.
Âme, which means “Soul” in French, comes from mother-daughter duo Afifa and Sabrina Nayeb. Chef Afifa Nayeb trained at Le Cordon Bleu and is blending her French techniques with traditional Indian dishes to create unique offerings. The menu is broken into shareables, seafood, chicken and lamb, and various rices, but we’ll get to that more in a bit.
The revitalized space at the corner of Bishop Avenue and 7th Street has a completely new and eclectic vibe. When you walk in, you see a large (and very pretty) U-shaped bar to sidle up to for a signature cocktail (try the Rasberry Lassi or bright purple Âme G&T) or while you wait for your table.
The main dining room at Âme features 62 seats, including a long, gold velvet banquet table surrounded by Christian LaCroix’s Maison de Jeu wallpaper featuring vintage playing cards. Beyond the glossy back doors in the back you’ll find the Elephant Bar, a clandestine champagne bar and lounge area. Emerald drapes, velvet couches, floral wallpaper, and a large chandelier create a lux, transportive experience. The door handles are even shaped like elephants (natch).
As for Âme’s cocktails, there are seven distinct drinks to try. A standout of the night was the Grapefruit Rickey with vodka, grapefruit, lime, elderflower liqueur, and club soda. Another popular cocktail was the Blackberry Spritz, a beautifully crafted concoction of Aperol, lemon, blackberries, and Prosecco. There are also several red, white, and sparking wines available, in addition to beer.
When dining, make sure you start off with the Aloo Tikka. It’s a shareable item of purple potato, goat cheese, and pepita seeds. The Calamari Pakora is also a good starter made with masala butter and cumin. A must-try meat dish is the Cashew Chicken Tikka. Paired with saffron rice, it’s so flavorful and unique compared to the standard chicken tikka dish with its cashew cream sauce. Another favorite is the shrimp curry — it has more of a kick with spicy coconut sauce and Thai chili.
For dessert, I opted for the Pistachio Kulfi, a frozen sweet cream custard, though the Lavendar Malai and chocolate panna cotta also looked incredible floating past our table.
Âme is now open for dinner reservations from Tuesday through Sunday and will soon open for weekend brunch in Bishop Arts from 11 am to 3 pm. The Elephant Bar is also open for drinks Tuesday through Saturday from 5 pm to midnight, and Sunday until 9 pm.