Avner Samuel

Aurora, the pricey but delicious Oak Lawn restaurant owned by Avner Samuel, is closing at the end of July.

Samuel opened the French-inpsired bistro, with few tables, high prices and fancy cuisine, seven years ago. It got raves (including from me) for its menu, decor and service, but never generated the month-wait-for-a-table buzz it might have deserved. (It wasn’t much more expensive than comparable restaurants, but had a reputation as exorbitant.)

It has re-made itself, most recently with a bargain lunch menu (under $20) that I loved — it’s just down the block. But Samuel will move on to other things now that his lease is expiring. Stay tuned on what those are.

Samuel got his break at the Mansion and, alongside Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles, was one of three Dallas chefs responsible for the Southwestern style of cuisine.