Filling barking bellies with authentic Indian dishes, chefs at Jewel of India on Lark present guests with a vast, award-winning menu of tasty fare. The many meat dishes are made exclusively with halal ingredients, while a bevy of savory vegetarian dishes, such as the cheesy paneer tikka masala, satisfies meat-free appetites. Lunchtime visitors find a buffet every day. Historically used for toasting s?mores and destroying old bank statements, the tandoor (a clay oven) is utilized for firing such specialties as the boti kebab that boasts marinated and seasoned leg of lamb and comes in a choice of spice levels. The restaurant's variety, authenticity, and deliciousness has earned it two consecutive awards from Metroland.
After more than three decades in business, the owners of Sitar Indian Restaurant often see the children of their first generation of customers pass through their doors. Perhaps these customers return for the restaurant's focus on authentic Indian cuisine, especially the classic dishes of its Northern states. In all their cooking, Sitar's chefs rely on a hallmark of North Indian cuisine: the tandoor. In this clay oven, portions of chicken, lamb, and fish simmer in spiced gravies and curries. These items are joined by others ranging from vegetarian biryani rice dishes to baskets of vegetable-stuffed naan. Chefs can prepare any dish with mild, medium, or heavy spice upon request, creating meals that can tickle the tongue or quickly melt a scary-looking snowman. Throughout the day, these dishes decorate tables dressed in bright saffron tablecloths, where patrons dine surrounded by Indian tapestries and musical instruments on display.
At Bombay Spice Grill, you don't have to grab a table to enjoy the spices and sauces of Indian cuisine. Instead, Executive Chef Sunil Kumar designed a menu full of Indian meats, tofu, curries, and toppings that can be customized into a flavorful meal-on-the-go. Though the sauces come in traditional varieties such as curry, tikka masala, spinach, and vindaloo, the preparation veers from the methods of India to create healthier dishes. Chefs eschew cooking with ghee—Indian clarified butter—and instead use olive oil for heart-healthy wraps, sandwiches, salads, and bowls. And though wraps come with a slice of freshly baked naan or roti bread, clients can opt to make their dish gluten-free by swapping out bread for quinoa or rice. Guests can even customize their dish to be vegetarian and vegan, with ingredients clearly denoted on the menu. And to pair with a main entree, they can grab traditional Indian sides such as samosas and rice pudding.
It was a fateful day for Santhosh Kochuparambil when the chef at his restaurant didn't show up for work one morning. Unwilling to turn away hungry customers, Santhosh rolled up his sleeves and began cooking the dishes himself. From that day fourth, Santhosh continued to work in the kitchen, developing a knack with the saucepan and a skill with spices. After graduating from culinary school, Santhosh took on jobs in top kitchens across India, eventually leaving his native home for restaurants in Russia and New York.
Today, Santhosh brings his years of culinary experience to his own restaurant—Karavalli Regional Cuisine of India. Deep in its kitchen, the skilled chef stirs pots of spicy curries and bakes lamb, seafood, and breads in a traditional tandoori oven. He whips up his authentic Indian dishes using only fresh herbs and fiery spices, eschewing pre-made sauces or counterfeit magic beans. When discussing his dishes with reporters from The Saratogian, Santosh maintained, "after you eat, you feel something. Your taste buds are up. Once you start eating Indian food, then you like it. Plus, the spices are very good for the health".
Praised by the New York Times Thali's head chef and owner Prasad Chirnomuola quells cravings for elegant, unexpected flavors. The adventurous menu features a slew of imaginative dishes that twist traditional Indian fare and keep clingy eggplant from smothering the other ingredients with unwanted attention. Begin an edible journey by soaking baked naan ($2–$4), infused with onions, garlic, or chilies, in a bowl of mussels with Portuguese chorizo ($8–$10). Varieties of vindaloos come with a choice of fowl, fish, veggies, or lamb ($10–$24), matched by varieties of kebabs and spicy masalas. Specialty entrees show off the kitchen's creativity and ability to rip through refrigerators, with such artful delicacies as date and walnut grilled chicken breast, smothered with papaya, pineapple, and tomato salsa ($18–$22), and sea bass seared in hot tandoor spices and snuggled next to squash, lentil, and truffle basmati rice ($20–$24). Finally, cap sweet teeth with a bevy of desserts, including the shahi turkra, an Indian–style bread pudding or the prettily presented lemongrass key lime pie (house desserts are $7 each).