Gateway of India's authentic ambiance houses fragrant aromas from a wide selection of classic Indian cuisine. Tantalizing appetizers such as the vegetable pakora summon appetites with veggies battered in lightly seasoned lentil flour, and the kebab sampler dispenses spears of chicken, lamb, and fish—provided they're not touring as an alternative-country trio. Delicious flats of naan bread sop up sauces and act as makeshift bibs bursting with flavors of garlic, coconut and cherries, or unleavened whole-wheat grains. Gnaw on entrees such as the lamb korma—decadent pieces of spiced lamb swimming in onion, cashew, and almond cream sauce—or nibble the palak paneer, a dish of homemade Indian cheese and spinach. A selection of classic dishes such as chicken tikka masala and goat biryani with rice challenge exotic combinations such as lobster curry to freestyle Bollywood dance-offs.
Executive chef Seth guides a roster of culinary concoctors, gracefully hewing a menu of steakhouse fare from fresh produce and hormone-free beef. The chef-recommended pomegranate-glazed hanger steak includes mashed yams and brussels sprouts ($35), and the turduckin is a covert operation that employs a chicken disguised as a duck, disguised as a turkey to disrupt diabolical hunger schemes ($24). Peruse the entire Etc. Steakhouse menu online and inculcate the brain with delicious options.
Doing double duty as a hat maker to the stars, with his chapeaus topping the crowns of Eva Longoria and Charlize Theron, Naftali Abenaim possesses an artful eye. This aesthetic touch helped him in his time working as a pastry chef in Manhattan hotels and led him to open Mocha Bleu, where he uses his skills to appeal to diners’ tendencies to “eat with their eyes first.” To this end, Abenaim designed the restaurant to get people excited about his food before they even sit down, with transparent Philippe Starck seating, walls coated in silvery-blue mosaic, and crisp, white napkins at every table.
His kitchen constructs pescetarian- and vegetarian-friendly dishes with European flavors in what Abenaim calls generous, “American-sized portions,” as opposed to those scaled to Luxemburg. Presentation plays a large part in the appeal of his food. A French patisserie welcomes patrons upon entering, a comfortable lounge sports WiFi, and a cherry-wood burning oven stands in the center of the dining area, where chefs put a golden-brown edge on pizzas and calzones loaded with nonmeat ingredients, such as savory mock pepperoni and mock chicken or mock crabmeat and shrimp. The poutine embodies the regional cuisine of Abenaim’s Canadian home by presenting tables with a freshly baked pile of julienne fries topped with rich gravy and mozzarella.:m]]
Saeid and Mojgon Eshaghipour have made a comfortable home for themselves amid the burger joints, frozen yogurt shops, and Italian sausage trees of New Jersey, but they'll never forget the traditional dishes of their native Iran. When it comes to their menu's tender cornish hen kebabs or tangy burberries, the couple opened their restaurant to share the treasured delicacies of their homeland with their new neighbors.
Amid the aromatic steam in the eatery's kitchen, the Eshaghipours cook an array of traditional Persian dishes that often have them seasoning lamb, ground beef, and chicken specialties with flavors of cinnamon, dried lemon, and pomegranate paste. When discussing their culinary process with reporters from The Record, Saeid's brother and restaurant manager, Reza, proudly asserted, "almost everything is grilled; there is no deep frying. We buy only fresh meat, and all processing is done at the restaurant. We grind it here, prepare it here." Along with that commitment to fresh food, some nights see the restaurant hosting special events, including live Persian music and belly-dancing performances.
Whether in New York or New Jersey, it's easy to find Cafe 22 thanks to its red and white awning and the aroma of authentic soul food emanating from its kitchen. The chefs prepare a truly extensive menu of breakfast eats, sandwiches, burgers, and southern entrees, sometimes blending those into single dishes. They top buttermilk waffles with jumbo fried shrimp or pile barbecued fish alongside creamy mac and cheese. They pair these Southern delicacies with all the expected sides, such as candied yams, collard greens, and six types of grits.
Tandoori Chef's tangerine walls and vibrant paintings warm diners ensconced at red-linen-topped tables, where they await steaming platters of the aromatic Indian cuisine from the bustling kitchen. Inside, chefs whip up a diverse repertoire of Northern Indian curry, tandoori, and rice dishes brimming with spice-laden veggies, chicken, shrimp, and lamb. A private dining area fills up to 30 bellies, and catering services bring the kitchen's nourishing warmth to party-goers or ravenous sasquatches grown too tall to fit through the front door.