Why would an experienced chef who has trained at five-star hotels, studied in Switzerland, and opened a hotel and restaurants back home in India decide to start over in the States? Chef Manoj Chopra explains that he arrived at a new appreciation of his first love, cooking. Chopping, stirring, measuring—somewhere along the way he had lost touch with the simple pleasures of his craft, which he discovered anew after opening Little India Restaurant in 1991.
Chef Manoj’s homestyle cooking fills the buffet table, where steaming cauldrons of traditional Indian cuisine await diners. In the chicken masala, poultry marinated in yogurt and spices emerges nicely charred from the tandoor oven before simmering in a tomato-base sauce. Fresh vegetables and cubes of house-made paneer, a fresh, unaged cheese, are doused in a yogurt-base mild curry, all made with the freshest ingredients possible without kidnapping newly sprouted spinach plants. The buffet runs down the middle of the dining area surrounded by bright yellow walls draped in ivy and woodcarvings. Rich oriental rugs protect red tiled floors from footfalls and curry spills as enormous front windows let in plenty of natural light.