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Mar 18, 2007 12:23 PM

If you liked Connaught Place in Fairfax . . .

You'll really like Rangoli in South Riding. From our home in central Fairfax County, it was about a 20-minute drive out Route 50, just a couple of miles past the Dulles Toll Road. It's manned up front by Sam Santosh, who was the always-genial host in the front of the house at Connaught Place.

I had the vegetarian thali, which isn't listed on the online menu, but it was Palak Paneer, Baingan Bharta, and Aloo Ghobi (all of which I enjoyed at Connaught Place, and all of which was the same familiar flavor), along with Naan, Dal Makhani, Raita, and something else that I didn't quite catch on the menu, but was sort of like an Indian corn pudding -- sweet, savory, slightly spicy, and a nice contrast to the slow heat of the entrees.

My better half had Chicken Malai Khorma, which was new to both of us. She (who is not a big fan of the spicier side of the Indian menu) pronounced it "excellent," and I (who of course had to taste it) concurred.

With two glasses of wine for her, a beer for me, and a shared dessert of Gulab Jamun, the total bill was $47.00, before tip.

Having lost Connaught Place and, more recently, the Tyson's InFusion, we were missing the cuisine and service we had come to know and love. We'll be regulars out in South Riding from now on. It's easily worth the 20-minute drive, which in reality is not any longer than navigating the traffic disasters that are Tyson's Corner and Old Town Fairfax.


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  1. Have you tried Saravanna in Fairfax, not far from the old Connaught Place? I haven't been yet, but it's gotten many very favorable posts recently. Though I do believe it's all veg.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Meg

      Saravana Palace is indeed an all veg S. Indian place...very good. I haven't been to Rangoli to compare, but I loved Connaught. We are lucky to have so many very good Indian restaurants around here.

    2. We agree wholeheartedly with the glowing review above. After Connaught Place closed, we searched in vain for an indian restaurant that we liked as much. We were thrilled to hear that Sam Santosh, the manager of Connaught Place, was now at Rangoli in South Riding. When we entered the restaurant, we immediately felt at home with the superior service and familiar faces from Connaught Place. The food is outstanding! In most cases it is equal to or even better than Connaught. We don't mind driving a little longer to get to South Riding -- actually it really doesn't take much longer than the drive to Fairfax City. The prices may be a little higher than Connaught but its hard to compare since a couple years have passed. Also, we usually purchase several main and vegetarian entrees so we have leftovers to take home so our bill is higher than the norm.

      Ron Hooper