By November, the crisp autumn air takes on a blustery winter chill, and cumbersome winter coats begin to take the place of stylish fall jackets. This change in fashion goes hand in hand with the change in seasons and with the philosophy of Mausam Indian Cuisine. The restaurant’s name means “seasons” in Hindi, and Mausam’s elegant three-story space boasts a restaurant, a lounge, and two versatile banquet halls, ready to change to accommodate a client’s request for any and every kind of event. Mausam’s staff can adapt table settings from simple and elegant pearl-white cloths with minimal accoutrements to bold colors with bountiful bouquets at every turn. Eager to please, the staff will even trade in the house specialty, Indian food, for any cuisine the client wishes to bring themselves, such as Mexican, Italian, or Lunchables.
Patrons simply looking for a low-key dinner out can head to the restaurant for traditional Indian favorites, such as chicken tikka masala, spicy goat curry, and plenty of vegetarian options laced with fragrant Indian spices. Red and white wines and a dozen kinds of domestic and imported beers wash away the last morsels of dessert, such as black-and-white cream puffs or orange-pineapple ice cream.
Bombay Grill House's chefs arrange a colorful mélange of tandoor-roasted meats, crispy naan, and vegetables bathed in simmering sauces on each plate. Diners sit down at dark wooden tables before feasting on inventive dishes such as Indian-style pizza, and staring into nearby multicolored lights until a vertiginous 2001-esque dream sequence begins.
Aromatic herbs and spices, such as ginger, garlic, and saffron, are the foundation of Indian cuisine. Chef Mathew of Amla roasts and grinds these and other spices every day to season a South Indian menu of dishes such as yogurt-marinated basil chicken, lamb boti kebabs, and seasonal achari mushrooms, which simmer in a mélange of turmeric, coriander, and cumin. No matter what they order, diners are likely to find it accompanied by an unusual amuse-bouche: a preparation of amalaki, the Indian gooseberry plant from which the restaurant takes its name. Depending on the season, Chef Mathew may incorporate the flowers, fruit, leaves, or root into a complimentary treat, inspired by the plant’s many uses in Ayurvedic herbology. Born in Mumbai, the chef studied for more than a decade in high-end kitchens in India before arriving at Amla’s brick-walled, white-tableclothed storefront, where he’ll gladly take requests to make dishes extra spicy for a chili lover or extra-salty for a chili lover’s arch nemesis.
An entire marinated chicken on the bone, a succulent lamb chop, or a plate of paneer can emanate from Tawa Tandoor’s namesake clay oven. However, the eatery’s dishes do not originate exclusively from the tandoor oven—or exclusively from India. While traditional chicken, lamb, and goat curries swim in sauces from almond to vinegar-infused red pepper, the complementary Asian fusion plates delight palates with shrimp in hot garlic sauce or paneer marinated in soy sauce and chili. To accommodate dietary restrictions, the kitchen team prepares plentiful vegetarian options, crafted with veggies such as black lentils and okra, as well as fried rice and a variety of Indian breads, from flat naan to puffy poori. From the drink department, guests might select the classic mango lassi beverage, which is more refreshing than a Darth Vader appearance at a Star Trek convention.
Critically praised, India on the Hudson is one of Hoboken's flagship Indian restaurants, serving traditional Indian cuisine in an elegant environment since 1994. Wake up napping taste buds with lamb samosas ($7) or veggie pakoras ($5) before diving thumbs first into one of the menu's myriad entrees. Challenge a dinner mate to a fencing match with the tandoori ginger shrimp ($18) or chicken tikka kabab ($13), both marinated in yogurt and cooked in a charcoal-fired clay oven. Street-food-inspired kathi wraps nestle your choice of lamb, chicken, or vegetables in a cozy blanket of Naan and are served alongside basmati rice, mango chutney, and soothing cucumber raita ($10–$14). Curry options abound, such as bhuna mutton, a mélange of slow-cooked goat and herbs ($15), and paneer makhani, cubes of fresh cheese swimming laps in tomato and bell pepper sauce ($10). For dessert, gulab jamuns combine the doughy sweetness of dumplings with the syrupy sweetness of cardamom syrup ($4). The restaurant's ambience is luxurious but relaxed, with pale green and ivory walls, embroidered silk art, and white table linens.
Touch of India offers diners a charming escape from the bustle of Time Square. The eatery's decorative wood furnishings and mosaic light fixtures were designed to mimic those of a traditional Indian home, albeit one that could appear in any one of India’s numerous regions. In fact, the eatery celebrates those various regions with dishes such as dosas, a thin lentil and rice crepe from southern India that’s packed with spicy onion and potatoes or cheese mixes. Its chefs also handcraft an array of biryanis, curries, and paneer-based vegetarian meals. An onsite tandoor oven, which is used not only in India but also throughout Asia, bakes seasoned meats including seafood and platters of naan stuffed with minced lamb and dried fruits.