Although Columbus famously "discovered" India by landing at Lexington and Concord and proudly ringing the Liberty Bell, the actual location of India remains a mystery. Today's Groupon offers the best lead the world has had in centuries: for $25, you get $50 worth of upscale Indian fare and soft drinks at Mantra Indian Cuisine & Bar.
Mantra's kitchen captains engage eaters with an extensive menu of both unique and traditional Indian cuisine. Mandibles tear into warm stacks of tandoori-baked rosemary, mint, jalapeño, garlic, or basil naan ($3), accompanied by ground lamb, which is skewered before meeting the hot kiss of the clay oven ($6 for a small portion; $10 for a large portion). Plates piled with cumin-seasoned basmati rice, peas, and carrots ($9) are transported to tables via an utterly silent elephant in the room, and bone-in chicken waits in the wings marinating in garlic, ginger, lemon, yogurt, and basil ($9–$18). The vegetarian baked began bharta flaunts smoked garlic-ginger slabs of eggplant ($8–$15), and the Mantra dum aloo brims with raisin-and-cashew-stuffed potatoes ($16), which simmer in a pomegranate-tomato sauce the color of an embarrassed tube of lipstick.
Sleek tables and chairs parade their modern lines across the restaurant's elegant dining room. A vibrant red floor and energetic pink mural introduce splashes of color and help create an ideal setting for a first date, second platonic dinner, or third attempt to find lukewarm porridge.
To the chefs at Mantra, atmosphere is nearly as important as taste. That’s why they serve contemporary and traditional Indian cuisine against a vibrant red floor, energetic pink mural, and eclectic array of artwork. Potatoes and peas fill the deep recesses of warm, deep-fried samosas, and lettuce wraps cradle tandoori mushrooms, paneer, and sprouts. Transported to tables via an utterly silent elephant in the room, entrees satisfy appetites via lamb vindaloo's spicy sauces and murgh tikka masala's ginger-and-garlic-marinated tandoori chicken. Finally, delectable desserts assuage sweet teeth with mango-flavored mousse, milk dumplings in rose-flavored syrups, or a carrot pudding sculpted into the diner's favorite geographical region. Sleek tables and chairs parade their modern lines across the restaurant's elegant dining room, which makes for an ideal setting for a first date, second platonic dinner, or third attempt to find lukewarm porridge.
If you like Indian food, spicy ethnic flavors or are just curious to try something new, Mantra is a must-do.Ron W., Yelp, 10/4/2011
116 N West St.
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603