Shere-E-Punjab owner and chef Zail Singh Shergill has more than two decades of cooking experience packed into his apron. Even with all that wisdom, he still counts on those around him—family, especially—to keep the restaurant’s spread fresh and exciting. Zail’s son and Shere-E-Punjab co-founder, Pushpinder Singh, consistently concocts recipes for new dishes—an ongoing effort reflected in the lengthy and varied menu, which includes fresh naan, chicken tikka masala, and barbecue lamb kabobs cooked in the clay tandoor ovens. The restaurant also carries a selection of Indian beers, wines, and cocktails.
Executive chef and owner Bharat Luthra named his restaurant Khajuraho after a town in Madhya Pradesh, India—a town famous for a series of Hindu and Jain temples filled with erotic monuments. Like those iconic statues, the sights, smells, and tastes of Luthra’s Indian cuisine create a vivid statement in support of sensuality and the enjoyment of life. His restaurant's elegant white-clothed tables, great enough in number to seat up to 120, stage feasts fit for mild to spicy palates and carnivorous to vegetarian appetites. Luthra bakes succulent marinated chicken inside a tandoori clay oven, spikes fresh seafood with garlic and ginger, and keeps vegetable balls from rolling off the plate with a smooth cream sauce and repurposed bowling-alley bumpers.
The chefs at Desi Village Indian assert dominance over hunger by mixing powerful spices into creamy curries and colorful veggie stews. They pair housemade cheese with spinach to create palak paneer, a filling and nutritious dish that both vegetarians and meat eaters can dip into with garlic naan or roti bread. Similarly, yellow lentils serve as the main protein in dal chana’s mix of tomatoes, ginger, cumin, onions, and fresh garlic. Meatier meals include tandoori shrimp, marinated in yogurt and spices, and chicken kebabs. The dining room is just as colorful as the food-prep station, with marigold and cream fabrics sweeping across the ceiling and green chairs tucking up to tables.
The menu at Spice Kitchen welcomes both vegetarian and non-vegetarians with 57 veggie, chicken, lamb, goat, and seafood entrees that incorporate seasonings from curry leaves to almond sauce. Friendly servers offer up ten types of flatbreads that come studded with everything from potato stuffing to cashews and coconut, while entrees include tandoori chicken steeped in spicy yogurt. Biryani plates find chefs slingshotting proteins onto long-grain rice infused with herbs. A handful of Indo-Chinese options introduce fried rice and Manchurian-style sauces. The lunch crowd can sift through the daily all-you-can-eat buffet.
Voted top five in the Best Indian category of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 CityVoter awards, Laxmi's Indian Grille serves a range of dishes?from spicy meats to subtle vegetable stews?designed to please all palates. A perfume of fresh ginger, rose water, and house-made cottage cheese drifts from the bustling kitchen out into the dining room of the Main Street location, where vibrant paintings provide an elegant contrast to walls of rustic exposed stone. At both Main Street and the newly minted Tilden Street eatery, a clay tandoor oven is kept aflame throughout the day, enabling chefs to bake breads, meats, and underripe bananas to a golden patina.
Every morning at Jazmin Restaurant, chefs load morsels of freshly kneaded naan dough into the tandoor oven. The aroma of baking bread soon fills the dining room, mingling with the heady scents of curry and cumin that waft from grills sizzling with halal chicken and lamb. Chefs also flaunt seven vegetarian entrees that swap meat for lighter ingredients such as homemade cheese and lentils. To contrast the savory dishes, dining companions can share traditional Indian desserts of mango ice cream and mango custard, which stand as evidence of the mango’s worth beyond its inclusion in fruit hats.