newly opened Uzbeki joint
Going up 18th street,while taking the bus to work I noticed a reopened Uzbeki restaurant. The old one was called Pelekan, and had on its sign an unappetizing logo of a pelican toasting the onlooker while a fish was flopping out of its mouth.
The new one is 'Restaurant Tashkent -- Asian and French Food.' (7222 18th ave., around 73 st.) Went in and ordered some manti to go. These are basically lamb dumplings moistened in a little butter and broth sprinkled with a touch of dill. Very excellent. All the elements worked together beautifully: the lamb chopped to the right size, mixed with the onion, simple spices, and butter, with everything flopping around loosely in the dumpling skin. Pop one in your and you're there.
And they don't rip you off if you want plov (lamb pilaf). At lunchtime it's $6 for plov, soup and salad, if I recall correctly. This is a big improvement over Pelekan, which I tried once and witnessed the strangest smelling food (beef plov) I've ever come across (it tasted OK though).
I'll keep in touch as I explore the menu. The staff is friendly but the sit-down menu is untranslated, and has more selections than the takeout one.