27 West 24th Street,
Phone: (212) 490-2100
How many restaurants have you been to boast an open kitchen, meditation room for employees, a 200-year old arched gate leading to the dining room, and a glassed-in spice room where you can watch chefs ground spice blends? Expect all of the above and then some, with an equally luxurious menu and cocktail list to match. While many of the flavors and spices are from traditional Indian palette, the cooking is modern and refined. It’s also terrific thanks to chef Vikas Khanna, who cooked at Salaam Bombay before taking over this kitchen, where he uses classical techniques, which include tandoor oven, hot stones, fire pie and curry cooking. There’s bubbly, beautifully charred naan, housemade paneer spiced with garam masala (ground in-house) with cashew nuts and cream, and monkfish tikka with yogurt, chiles and mustard seed. One of my favorite dishes on the menu is the lobster tandoori, an wondrously moist lobster tail, served in its shell, and spiced with a fragrant blend of cumin, cayenne and lemon. Don’t Miss Dish: Lobster tandoori
Don’t Miss Dish: Lobster tandoori, Piri-piri shrimp; paneer pakoras, tandoori lamb chops.
End With: Coconut rice pudding, orange buttermilk ice cream.
Drink this: Terrific wine list
Occasion: Haute Indian, Special occasion, nice date, group dinner.