Lauded in the press for its impeccable approach to traditional cuisine—"no greasy food, no lame service, no amateur stabs at interior design," notes D Magazine—India Palace blends exotic spices with natural ingredients to craft a menu of tandoori meat-, seafood-, and veggie dishes. The restaurant bakes 16 different types of Indian bread and introduces diners to cooking styles they might not be familiar with, such as spice-laden Balti dishes stuffed into cast-iron pots. An in-house bar serves traditional tastes of India in the form of Indian dark rum, beer, and matured malt whiskies, along with selections from a global wine list. For a little of everything, regular buffet meals grant patrons with tastes from every corner of the menu more efficiently than a food fight. Meanwhile, the restaurant's dim lighting, white tablecloths, and rich colors create an elegant setting that complements the flavors of each dish.
The chefs at Madras Pavilion hail from several different regions of India, and each adds their own regional specialties to the menu. The result is a large and diverse collection of dishes that reads more like a collage than a themed catalogue. However, despite the varied flavors and styles of cooking, the cuisine is united by a few commonalities: all-natural, kosher ingredients, fresh preparation, and an absence of meat. Those accustomed to samosas brimming with beef can branch out to try appetizers like lentil donuts or iddlies—steamed rice and lentil patties. For dinner, wrap some potatoes, onions, and hot chutney in a dosa, a light crepe that's a staple in southern India. Or, opt for one of 17 vegetarian curries like the paneer butter masala––homemade cottage cheese croquettes topped with a rich cream sauce, and prepared according to your preferred level of spiciness and proximity to the nearest fire extinguisher. But to really cool down, look no further than the list of desserts, which features exotic sweet treats like rose-flavored milk with homemade ice cream, and fried cheese balls dipped in cinnamon syrup.
At both locations of Dream Cafe, fresh, seasonal ingredients put a healthy twist on meals from around the globe. Chefs cater to gluten-free palates with dishes such as Sonoma Squash, an acorn squash stuffed with rice, currants, and creamy goat cheese, then nestled next to a crisp side salad. They also craft dishes from sustainable ingredients such as hormone-free, locally sourced grilled chicken and grass-fed beef, creating healthy takes on meals from enchiladas to stir-fry. At dinner, guests can pair their plates with a glass of wine slowly sipped on the patio, where, on select nights, musicians will serenade them with live music.
Dream Cafe serves breakfast and espresso drinks all day, so guests can always indulge cravings for the restaurant's signature Cloudcakes—creamy ricotta pancakes topped with strawberries and creme fraiche. While parents partake, little ones can amuse themselves in patio-adjacent play areas; at the Addison location, a brand-new play structure lets them pass the time by scaling a climbing wall or slipping laughing down a slide.
When A.J. Duggal made plans to open the Indian restaurant known as Kebab N Kurry in 1982, he wanted to do it right. The restaurateur searched for culinary experts who could make his eatery as authentic as possible, eventually staffing his kitchen with chefs who were born and raised in India. Over the next 25 years, that kitchen served as a laboratory: chefs experimented with new aromas and flavors until they had devised a menu of dishes they hoped could be called the best in Dallas. With that, a new restaurant was born. India West by Ross Duggal reveals these years of hard work in a pair of elegant dining rooms that brim with exotic aromas. Led by A.J.'s son Ross Duggal, the restaurant's chefs use the indigenous spices and cooking techniques of Northern India to make vindaloos, biryanis, and tandoori dishes, which pair well with 11 types of bread and an extensive wine list.
In the main dining room, stone detailing on the walls creates a modern, earthy vibe offset by the rectangular light fixtures that bathe tables in ambient light. A curtained entryway leads guests into the West Lounge, where a red mosaic ceiling joins a crackling fireplace to impart a scarlet glow over modern, minimalist seating that can accommodate up to 30. For private events, wedding rehearsals, and birthday parties, groups of up to 50 can take over the Oval Room, where the ancient adornment of a framed Indian tapestry faces off with modern amenities such as an LCD projector and a built-in viewing screen. Diners can also take their meals on an outdoor patio area that—like the heart of a jilted maharaja—is surrounded by a stone border.
Not too long ago, it would have been normal to find Wes Anderson and the Wilson brothers huddled around a table at Cosmic Café. One can only speculate how many films that trio brainstormed while digging into plates of Indian-inspired vegetarian cuisine at the Oak Lawn café, which has earned a reputation as the go-to spot for vegans and vegetarians in Dallas. Though celebrities have brought the café a good deal of hype, few things have changed since the early days. The staff continues to churn out an inspired menu of vegetarian plates, nearly all of which can be made vegan. To complement this health-conscious food, they also lead a series of restorative activities each week. Yoga sessions, for example, help guests achieve peace through breathing, stretching, and learning to block out the smell of the delicious Indian pizzas baking next door.
“Indian food.” Those two words call to mind a handful of ubiquitous dishes but hardly capture the subcontinent’s wealth of regional cuisines. Wild Chutneys Indian Cuisine goes beyond what’s expected to introduce palates to a new world of fragrant spices and colorful curries. The menu reads like Marco Polo’s travelogue, spanning nearly all of India and Pakistan with regional dishes such as goan fish curry, peshawari biryani, and the fluffy naan that once paved the Silk Road. Clay ovens bake dishes of chicken tikka and ginger-infused lamb chops to tender perfection, and stews of black lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and okra ensure ample options for vegetarians.