Kinara dishes up an authentic Indian menu in a casual, BYOB restaurant. Pre-meal nibblers such as the chicken and coconut mulligatawny soup ($4.25) pair well with tandoor-oven–baked traditional naan ($2) or a chicken-tikka-stuffed variation ($4). Like a DeLorean hot-rodded with a flux capacitor, Kinara’s entree selections span various meat and veggie dimensions. The rice casserole vegetable biryani ($13.95) and the spicy hara bhara kabab ($13.95) cater to herbivore diets, and almond curry-infused chicken korma ($14.95), lamb curry delicacy roghan josh ($15.95), and spicy crustacean classic shrimp vindaloo ($16) please meat eaters of all stripes.
The dosas and uttapams at Hampton Chutney Co. are great on their own, but they should ideally serve as vessels for the restaurant’s curries and chutneys. The inventive menu encourages creativity—diners can often be spotted spreading chutney on sandwiches such as the smoked turkey, brie, and cucumber.
Rather than bore diners with another nondescript buffet, Indus Valley keeps things interesting with daily lunch specials that constantly rotate. The ingredients stay as fresh as the menu and include seasonal fish fillets, Kashmiri chilis, and palak paneer crafted every day.
Ayurveda Cafe’s prix fixe meals consist of 10 rotating vegetarian menu items that span the six Sattvic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent. Drinks such as the mango banana lassi are less concerned with balance, favoring sweetness above all else.
With Bombay Talkie, Sunitha Ramaiah envisions a restaurant whose cuisine reflects her own life experiences, which include a childhood in southern India and adulthood in the cultural mélange of New York City. Her chefs, she says, serve "the food of my childhood, the food of everyday India," basing their menu on recipes from Indian roadside cafés and using fragrant blends of fenugreek, tamarind, and cloves, which characterize meals from the country's southern regions. Bombay Talkie sets itself apart from tradition, however, by serving dishes in a tapas style, with large entrees minimized in favor of smaller, well-composed plates of vibrant cuisine. Lemon-tinged rice balances red swaths of tandoori chicken, and the lamb chops' cilantro-mint sauce lends a splash of color more vibrant than Willy Wonka’s contact lenses.
The gallery-white walls and exposed brickwork of Bombay Talkie's dining room feature paintings of Bollywood film scenes, alluding to India's ubiquitous displays of movie billboards. Carved from a single piece of teak, a stool-lined communal table dominates one entire side of the dining room, with the rest of the space featuring a similarly earth-tone collection of custom-designed leather booths.:m]]
Shalom Bombay operates under the strict supervision of The Orthodox Union, meaning compliance with kosher dietary laws, such as nixing milk and butter for olive oil, and replacing meat from tofu birds with the vine-ripened alternative. This approach has earned Shalom Bombay a unique following, including celebs such as Rosie O'Donnell, Matisyahu, and Senator Menendez. Bombay's more than 20 vegetarian entrées have also helped earn the 50-seat eatery positive reviews from both The New York Times and The Jewish Voice.
Four-foot flames warm the faces of Bombay chefs as they fuse beef and lamb with sumptuous accents of ginger, onion, and fenugreek. While fresh naan and cashew accented chicken bake in Shalom's clay tandoor oven, a fully stocked bar serves up unique beers such as India-imported '1947'––a nod to the year of India's independence, and universally agreed to be the best year for salt water taffy.