Pieces of tender lamb quickly disappear as a chef drops them into curry sauce. Inside a pan, tiny lentils soften and plump up as they absorb the butter and spices in Elixir Restaurant & Lounge’s daal makhani dish. Elsewhere in the kitchen, chefs stuff cauliflower inside flatbread and marry rice and curried bits of vegetables in biryani entrées. Out in the dining room, guests can top off their meals with sweet desserts or complimentary hand readings by the helpful wait staff.
The most geographically and culturally authentic bites at CurriBox are lemon and mango pickles imported straight from India. But the restaurant's cooks masterfully conjure traditional Indian flavors just fine with more local fixings, which they assemble into nearly 75 dishes. A clay tandoor oven bakes all roits and naans, as well as boneless chicken, which the culinary team stirs into mildly spiced butter cream. Other entrees incorporate CurriBox's housemade ingredients, from hand-crafted cheese cooked in spiced gravy with peas to marinated lamb doused with nuts and fresh cream sauce. Besides dine-in feasts, CurriBox's cooks prepare food for takeout and even cater feasts for weddings, birthdays, or birthdays for each taste bud.
In 1997, Chef Muhammad Uddin took over a failing Indian eatery with dreams of turning it into something more. After closing to remodel the dining room and overhaul the menu, he threw open the doors of the new restaurant, which he renamed Bengal Tiger Cuisine of India. By 2009, it had grown such a large following that Chef Uddin moved to a bigger location with ample seating, a full bar, and space for servers to practice their plate-spinning acts on breaks.
Though the warm-colored decor and friendly service are a draw, the real key to Bengal Tiger's appeal is the food. Chef Uddin and his team rely on fresh spices and lean-cut meats to flavor recipes from across India?from the madras curry inspired by the city of Chennai to the vindaloo dish that originated in Goa. Though Bengal Tiger's menu is ? la carte, servers spread out a smorgasbord of entrees during the Chef?s Special dinner buffet, which, like games in the world's least active football league, occurs on the last Sunday of every month.
At Quazi's Indian Curry House & Mediterranean Cuisine, each bowl of curry or platter of tandoori-baked meat comes with a side of history. The gregarious owners are happy to share the evolution of Indian cuisine with guests, even pinpointing the origin of certain recipes all the way back to 300 BC. The menu itself divulges some of these stories, citing the region of origin for some dishes and telling the tale of how biryani rice felt that time mangos left it for a hot dish of curry.
The cuisine of India varies greatly from region to region, yet the chefs at Jewel of India are familiar with it all. They cull inspiration from every corner of the diverse nation, with the resulting menu including sundry vegetarian selections, chicken and lamb curries, tandoori fish, and baked-to-order naan, paratha, and roti breads. Diners may sample a whole swath of dishes by stopping by the lunch buffet, which is just as colorful—and even more thrilling to eat—as the framed Indian artwork lining the restaurant’s walls.
Gleaming copper bowls parade out from Mirch Masala's kitchen, bearing the colorful meats, seafood, and vegetables of both traditional and modern Indian dishes. More than a dozen different types of naan bread rise in tandoori ovens before sopping up sauces from curry, paneer, vindaloo, and masala dishes. Come lunchtime, a buffet line snakes across the dining room, beneath glimmering chandeliers and paintings of Indian songstresses and Bollywood stars doing laundry.