Though India and Indiana are roughly the same word, their cuisine offerings are worlds apart. Find out the difference two letters make with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of upscale Indian fare at Saffron.
Crafting each dish from scratch, Saffron's head chef Hari Kesavan marries the tradition of northern Indian recipes with Western fusion fare to deliver a diversely seasoned menu. Diners can prep palates with flavorful appetizers such as tandoori shrimp ($9.95), a poppadom basket flush with garlic-and-chili shrimp baked in a clay oven. The menu's Avant-Garde collection, named for its original font, boasts ensembles such as marinated lamb and portobello mushrooms simmering in lamb nazakat's almond sauce ($18.95), and the vegetarian selection supplies herbivores with spinach-laced homemade cheese in palak paneer ($12.95). Tossed in a rich tomato-and-butter sauce, tandoor-baked chicken tikka masala ($13.95) is among the most popular entrees due to its luscious taste and habit of shielding patrons' plates from stabbing forks and knives.
Detailed with intricate flower patterns, Saffron's walls embrace an upscale dining room that's enriched with white tablecloths and upbeat rhythms emanating from Bollywood soundtracks or classical melodies. The restaurant's affable staff eagerly alters spice levels for mildness-inclined diners or assists couples on first dates by pointing to the menu's dating-advice section.
Saffron Indian Cuisine
Many people would consider warm carrot pudding an adventurous dish, but at Saffron Indian Cuisine, the gajar halwa isn't even on the avant-garde section of the menu. Rather, the traditional Indian dessert joins other Northern Indian classics, including palak paneer combined with fresh spinach and homemade cheese. The shrimp vindaloo is another standout with a sauce so painstakingly balanced, you can offset its mix of tangy and spicy by eating a spoonful of basmati rice or having a friend gently blow into your mouth. As for that avant-garde section, it's where Chef Mahesh—who has worked in multiple 5-star hotels in India—shows off his ability to experiment and invent. His paneer nirvana, for instance, mixes cheese and grilled vegetables in a punchy red-pepper sauce, whereas the sea bass bahaar wears a cloak of coconut-sesame-cashew sauce.