With its façade of hand-chiseled limestone and its interior columns of carved sandstone and wood, Junoon resembles the grand banquet hall of a royal mansion. As for the intensely aromatic food, however, one might more rightly say it's fit for a president than for a queen: in 2012, it was the secondary star of a fundraising dinner for President Barack Obama. Today's Reserve selection invites you to sample worldly, pan-Indian cuisine in a stately setting with a choice of the following options:
- $110 for a five-course tasting dinner for two
- $220 for a five-course tasting dinner for four
- $160 for a five-course tasting dinner for two, including wine pairings
- $320 for a five-course tasting dinner for four, including wine pairings
For each person, the tasting menu includes the following courses:
- Fluke tadka
- Tandoori octopus
- Chipotle chicken tikka
- Lamb kolhapuri
- Dessert sampler
Guests may also opt for a lounge experience that features the following:
- $30 for cocktails and kebabs for two, including two cocktails and one kebab
- $60 for cocktails and kebabs for four, including four cocktails and two kebabs
- See the menu
Junoon has laid claim to a Michelin star since 2012, and the current ViaMichelin guide lauds the "skill and ambition" of its kitchen. Diners who choose the tasting menu give chefs ample opportunity to demonstrate both qualities. Spice blends often include highly authentic elements that may yet be surprising to U.S. palates, as in the lamb kolhapuri's curry of red chili, toasted coconut, and white poppy seeds. And the spices and garnishes nearly steal the show in the sushi-like fluke tadka: the raw fish is decorated with chili-oil-sauteed curry leaves, fresh baby coconut, and poached fennel.
Kebabs—served with cocktails that may be spiked with saffron or caraway—may sound as though they'd be more minimalistic. But in fact, the plates of lamb, chicken, seafood, or veggies come with accessories such as pickled purple potatoes and charred plums—and the skewered morsels themselves are seasoned intensely. In fact, each dish is flavored with an entirely unique spice blend, the elements of which are toasted and ground fresh each morning.
Diners can glimpse some of this flavor chemistry in action by peering into the spice room's window downstairs, its vivid jars illuminated as beautifully as gems in a museum case. Indeed, there's a certain glow throughout Junoon; here, “everyone looks good,” according to the New York Times' two-star review. Warm earth tones and soft lighting combine with wafting fragrances for an ambience more enticing than a tandoori oven repurposed as a sauna.