Amid a 7,000 square-foot eatery adorned in wicker accents, the chefs at Chutnys draw inspiration from both North and South India, which yields a lengthy menu of dishes that differ in terms of spiciness and use of the color puce. All the meat used in curry and barbecue meals are prepared according to halal traditions, while the restaurant’s vegetarian dishes are rich in spinach, cheese, and spices—making them no less flavorful than their meaty counterparts. Chutnys invites larger events into their banquet hall, where they present aromatic feasts for groups as small at 10 and as large as 250.
When they're not donating food to the victims of the Joplin tornado or striving to make the country's spiciest curry, the culinary artisans at Gem of India grind fresh spices and cook all ingredients from scratch to populate a vast menu of authentic Indian cuisine. After marinating in spiced yogurt, the shrimp tandoori’s jumbo shrimp ($13.95) roast on skewers in a tandoor oven, and the chicken tikka masala smothers chicken in a light cream sauce ($12.95). Vegetarians and finicky brontosauruses can feast on the navratan korma's nine vegetables cooked in nine spices ($11.95), and carnivorous diners can sink their unusually sharp incisors into the mixed grill, which combines tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala, sheesh kabob, and tandoor shrimp ($15.95), or lamb roganjosh, an appetizing amalgamation of boneless lamb pieces cooked in yogurt and a freshly ground blend of herbs and spices ($12.95). Amid the eatery's tapestries and authentic Indian music, patrons can sip exotic cocktails such as the mango cosmopolitan, which blends the sweetness of Indian fruit with the juiciness of American fashion magazines.
Inside India Clay Oven’s namesake tandoori oven, open flames lick skewers of chicken, filets of mahi mahi, or morsels of lamb. The chefs make good use of each of the tender meats while also crafting vegetarian specialties that focus on potatoes and paneer—a fresh white cheese similar to a mild feta. Chicken and lamb simmers in vindaloo or creamy tikka masala sauce perfumed with ginger, garlic, coriander, and tomatoes. The levels of spiciness in each dish can be adjusted for sensitive taste buds or a need to pretend to be crying during your boss’ piano recital. India Clay Oven’s dining room, from the goldenrod hue of the walls to its colorful vases of flowers, reflects the rainbow of colors found in the cumin- and chili-tinged dishes.