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need indian suggestions

h
Hungry Celeste Sep 7, 2006 03:18 PM

Planning a late Sept/early Oct trip to NYC; interested in really good indian (at any pricing point, don't really care about atmosphere). Help me out...it's my first post-Katrina vacation and I need to be reminded that not all places are half-ruined (watermarks & destruction are beginning to seem normal, so you know I need to get out of town).

  1. l
    liverfail Sep 13, 2006 04:47 AM

    Dawat, Devi, Tabla, Tamarind..all very very good.

    1. d
      Dave Feldman Sep 11, 2006 04:04 AM

      Celeste,

      I enjoy your posts on the New Orleans very much. Glad to try to help out here.

      I have to lend a dissenting note on Devi. I've eaten there twice and been disappointed both times. Although some of the dishes were tasty, I find it astonishing that a serious Indian restaurant is so indifferent to its breads and rice (both times I visited, the kitchen couldn't execute lemon rice or tamarind rice). Devi uses higher quality ingredients (especially meat and fish) than most of the competition, but I don't think the level of cooking is high. I have not visited in a little more than a year, though, and maybe it has improved. But I think there's a reason why you don't see many Indians eat there.

      I'm not sure there is a great Indian restaurant in Manhattan these days. I guess I'd name Saravanaas as my favorite. If you like Southern Indian, it's definitely worth a visit.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Dave Feldman
        h
        Hungry Celeste Sep 11, 2006 01:36 PM

        Thanks for the Devi perspective. Can you tell me a little more about Saravanaas? Any specific menu recs?

        1. re: Hungry Celeste
          d
          Dave Feldman Sep 12, 2006 09:09 PM

          Saravanaas is an outpost of an Indian restaurant. It serves southern Indian food (strictly vegetarian). What I like best about Saravanaas is that most southern Indian restaurants are clearly better with their starches (dosas, vadas, iddlies, breads etc.) or with cooked vegetable dishes. Saravanaas is strong on both, which means that their thalis are stronger than most.

          Saravanaas is a little slicker, both in ambiance and service, than most of its competitors, with both the plusses and minuses that this implies. Here is the menupages (a site you should know about when visiting NYC): http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

          one click will get you a small part of the menu, too.

          1. re: Dave Feldman
            a
            aleppopepper Sep 13, 2006 12:25 AM

            I like Saravanaas but the dosas are better at Dosa Hutt, a few blocks away, if it's still open. Totally agree about Devi - it's very expensive and not as satisfying as Saravanaas or Dosa Hutt.

            1. re: aleppopepper
              d
              Dave Feldman Sep 13, 2006 04:04 AM

              For dosas, I prefer Udupi Palace to Dosa Hutt or Saravanaas, although the sambar is far better at Saravanaas than either of the other two, in my experience.

        2. re: Dave Feldman
          k
          kvn Sep 11, 2006 08:48 PM

          I have to agree with Dave on Devi, I've also been there twice, and disappointed both times.
          Both times, I regretted not going to Tamarind. For Indian fine dining in NYC, I believe Tamarind is the overall best. Tabla is very good, but not really Indian. Devi is trying to be Tamarind.

          I also agree with Peter (above), Vatan is the best place for Gujarati thali.
          And Saravanaas is great food, although I find their dining room quite uncomfortable.
          Enjoy your trip.
          K

        3. b
          big o Sep 10, 2006 08:39 PM

          I was hanging out in a bar on Houston last weekend, and a couple guys from India -- who are now living in NY -- walked in. I wound up asking them if they had any recommendations for Indian food in Manhattan, and they suggested: Amma, Copper Chimney, and Devi.

          4 Replies
          1. re: big o
            p
            Peter Cherches Sep 10, 2006 09:07 PM

            I believe one or both of the owners of Devi started Amma and moved on.

            1. re: Peter Cherches
              p
              Pan Sep 11, 2006 03:31 AM

              The reverse is true. Hemant Mathur and Suvir Saran were employed at Amma and then opened Devi.

              1. re: Pan
                r
                RGR Sep 11, 2006 03:56 AM

                To be perfectly accurate, Hemant and Suvir do not own Devi. They are the Co-Executive Chefs. Devi is owned by the man who owns the Baluchi chain.

                1. re: RGR
                  p
                  Pan Sep 11, 2006 08:27 AM

                  Thanks for the correction.

          2. p
            Peter Cherches Sep 10, 2006 12:44 AM

            Devi is probably the best Indian I've had in NY.

            I prefer Chola to Dawat. I think Dawat is coasting on its reputation.

            Minar is a great, cheap, funky, cafeteria-style lunch place. I've been going to the 46th st. branch for several years. I've heard the original 31st St. branch has taken a bit of a downturn. Stick to the North Indian steam table combos.

            I think Saravanaas is the best South Indian veg.

            Chola, Bay Leaf & Utsav are all good for reasonably priced buffet lunches.

            Vatan is the best place for Gujarati thali.

            http://petercherches.blogspot.com/2006/03/eating-indian-in-new-york.html

            http://petercherches.blogspot.com/200...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Peter Cherches
              h
              Hungry Celeste Sep 10, 2006 07:58 PM

              Thanks for the blog link; you really covered what I was seeking. I ate at Shaan and Utsav several years ago, remember both as tasty, but not stellar. Minar sounds like a great inexpensive midtown lunch.

            2. g
              gardengirl Sep 9, 2006 10:12 PM

              Devi is fantastic. There was a drink this summer on the menu that was so refreshing and unique, basically a mojito but with cilantro.

              I had the trio of samosas and would highly recommend. I also had the beef curry with coconut milk. But really, everything that I tasted was great. I don't think you can go wrong with ordering. Well actually, my husband had venison and found the meat to be overly fatty. But otherwise, perfection.

              We had a lovely table in the back that was sort of separated from the other tables, in a bit of an enclave and if I remember there were other private tables. If that is of interest, I would request when making reservationg.

              Flatiron Bar is close by at 37 West 19th Street. Just a short walk away, could be a nice place to stop for a predinner or postdinner drink.

              1. l
                ljm2118 Sep 9, 2006 07:32 PM

                Dimple on 30th b/w Broadway and 5th...its vegetarian, but its to die for.

                1. g
                  Gelaine Sep 7, 2006 11:06 PM

                  tbear.... would you recommend Chola over Dawat? (Have been checking Dawat reviews and can't find anything recent.) Am looking for good Indian around and above the '50s.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Gelaine
                    tbear Sep 9, 2006 10:17 PM

                    Gelaine... only because I have not been to Dawat in a couple years and have been to Chola several times recently. I remember the food being good at Dawat, but the service somewhat supercilious.

                  2. h
                    Hungry Celeste Sep 7, 2006 05:59 PM

                    Thanks, everyone. Looks like three solid places. I'm leaning toward Devi, so if there's something I should know about it, please share. Also, any suggestions for cheap-ish, indian lunch spots.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Hungry Celeste
                      r
                      RGR Sep 7, 2006 07:33 PM

                      Glad to hear that you're seriously considering Devi. I am certain you will not be disappointed. The tasting dinner is definitely the way to go, and there are wine pairings if you are so inclined.

                      Copper Chimney is a less expensive but still good place for Indian food.

                      http://www.copperchimney.com

                      Enjoy!

                    2. r
                      RGR Sep 7, 2006 04:12 PM

                      Devi has truly superb Indian cuisine served in a space on two levels that has unusual and elegant decor.

                      http://www.devinyc.com

                      Hope you have a wonderful stay in NYC!

                      1. j
                        jona2325 Sep 7, 2006 04:03 PM

                        More "Indian influenced" but yummy every time is Tabla (11 Madison Ave @ 25th Street). Enjoy!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jona2325
                          Gluttonous Prime Sep 10, 2006 09:54 PM

                          Yes, even though Tabla's not straight up Indian food, the tasting menu was so good, I almost went blind.

                        2. tbear Sep 7, 2006 03:55 PM

                          I love Chola on 59th between 2nd and 3rd. It is an elegant restaurant with excellent food.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tbear
                            j
                            Jesdamala Sep 11, 2006 04:20 AM

                            LOVE Chola, was there a week ago, and ventured from my regular Indian dishes as per recommendation of waiter...FABULOUS. Also love Tamarind. Tabla is also a great suggestions for those willing to venture from the 'regular' Indian restaurant menu.

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