Earthen Oven Review
Just a quick review that I was reminded to write since the NYT had their positive write-up yesterday. I've been there twice with my wife now, and really like it a lot -- it's the best Indian on the UWS -- although Sapphire may be slightly better but is much more expensive. I'm a fanatical Indian food lover, and my wife likes it quite a bit, but not to the extreme that I do.
I'd never been to the Columbus Grill (which was in the space before), but Earthen Oven is apparently owned by the same people, and the two chefs are ex- of Tamarind (my favorite Indian in the city). The decor is apparently very similar to before, and in general it's pretty crummy. Not dirty or anything that would turn you off, but pretty uninspired. That said, who cares! The food is excellent. For entrees we've tried the Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Curry, Chicken Zafrani, and Lamb Vindaloo -- all we're excellent, although the Zafrani was really in a class of its own.
We've tried a few of the appetizers, and the only disappointment we've had so far is the Samosas -- they are really quite bland. Even the papadums are pretty delicious. The wine list is serviceable, but nothing special. Service has been pretty good, everyone has been friendly, and we haven't had any mistakes with anything we've asked for. Prices are also fairly reasonable considering the quality..
I do with that there was a bit more variety of chicken dishes, as my wife is partial to chicken, and with only 5 chicken items on the menu, it can restrict what we order sometimes.
All in all, quite a good place, it isn't often that my wife is pushing to go to an Indian restaurant, and now she is, which is great for me!
Not sure if you stumbled across my multiple posts on this place. I couldn't agree with you more and I'm glad to hear that others have the same impression of Earthen Oven. This has now become my favorite Indian restaurant in Manhattan after trying Chola, Devi, Mitali East, Curry Leaf, Swagat, Indus Valley, Tamarind, Royal Kabab and Curry, and Masala Garden. I agree that the CTM is amazing. i've never tasted it this smooth and creamy anywhere. I just wish the serving sizes were larger and/or the entree was less expensive. I highly recommend the chicken chettinad if you are seeking additional chicken dishes. It was extraordinary and they will make any alterations (spice, size of chicken chunks, etc). The one thing you did not mention are there chutneys which are absolutely amazing. Since I live across the street, I am stunned that I can get excellent Indian right outside my door much less by the same owners of Columbus grill and the previous place called My Favorite Bistro.
why do I never see Bay Leaf on anybodies lists of good Indian? Is it jusy me that likes this place. i think they do a good job especially with the buffet; the spicing is done well and the foods have really great flavor. The mango lassis are creamy and though the prices are high I think they are worth it. Curious to know what others think.