Rajbhog Cafe established its first franchise location more than two decades ago, and master chef Ishwar Signh continues this savory success story by drawing on more than 15 years of experience cooking Punjabi cuisine to craft a menu of regional Indian specialties. Modern hanging lights dangle like curious acrobats over steaming lamb and chicken curries infused with unique ingredients such as homemade cheese and ginger. After taste touring India at the expansive buffet, patrons can peruse Rajbhog Cafe’s line of nationally distributed sweets and snacks, which allows guests to take home pieces of the restaurant without the hassle of pocketing deep fryers.
Chai Pani, which was highlighted in the New York Times, dazzles diners with a mélange of Indian street food and tapas-like dishes made with humanely raised meats and locally sourced ingredients. Embark on an ambrosial adventure by pointing your tongue compass at the bhel puri—puffed rice tossed with diced potatoes, onion, cilantro, and sprinkled with mint and tamarind chutneys ($4.25). The kathi kabab rallies carnivorous taste buds around all-natural chicken marinated in ginger, garlic, and spices and blanketed in a griddled wrap ($7.49). After a feeding frenzy, cool off with a kulfi ($2.99), ¬a gelato-y dessert of frozen condensed milk, pistachio, saffron, and cardamom as sweet and brisk as a snow cone riding a Segway.
Azitra dishes out flavorful, upscale Indian delicacies made from fresh, natural ingredients in a luxurious, relaxed atmosphere. The varied menu, like tricking out a penny farthing with chrome spinners, melds traditional favorites with contemporary techniques. Chow on a cheesy palak paneer ($13) or a mustard-marinated salmon jhol ($22), or sup on a succulent lamb vindaloo ($17) or delectable dal makhni ($12). Diners can explore more complex flavors and corking procedures by pairing plates with one of various wines or tandoor-fired breads.
More than 6,000 blocks of yellow pine compose The Square Root's floor, sprawling beneath a 1930s art-deco bar back salvaged from a Kentucky dispensary and a bar top made from repurposed ambrosia maple. Brunches of eggs florentine and beignets give way to lunches of fried swai fish tacos in blue corn tortillas and curry lamb meatballs. Each dish is meticulously presented—sprigs of herbs or julienne vegetables are placed just so, and sauce is artfully swirled into curlicues or used to write the initials of all your childhood crushes. The Square Root's newest outpost in Hendersonville emulates its original location with exposed-brick walls, rustic wooden tabletops, and an identical food menu of favorite The Square Root recipes.
Bombay Grille's tandoor clay oven has filled the walls of its elegant dining hall with the fragrance of authentic northern Indian dishes since 1992. As lamb, chicken, fish, and shrimp emerge from the high-heat oven sizzling like butter-coated sunbathers, strips of tandoori-baked naan plunge into the creamy tomato sauce of their signature chicken tikka masala or the spicy gravy of the lamb vindaloo. Cushy beige booths and wood tables linger beneath colorful murals of Indian landscapes and planters full of cheerful pink flowers as customers line up before the expansive spread of a daily lunch buffet. A full-service catering menu can accommodate large parties or furnish business functions, offering office workers reprieve from a monotonous diet of break-room vending-machine tapas. The restaurant is owner Naval Sethi's second venture after spearheading North Carolina's Bombay Palace location, part of an internationally acclaimed chain.