Tawa in Stamford
This self-described "family style" Indian restaurant, which has been open a few weeks, took over the spot at Bull's Head where two previous South Asian places had failed, so I was not optimistic. While the place still is lacking in decor, the new staff was warm and welcoming, and unlike their predecessors, spoke fluent English. The food was quite good, certainly better than the prior tenants managed to pull off, though not quite at the level of Darien's Coromandel, and there were many items on the menu I'd like to try. Portions were huge, with prices correspondingly high--when I commented on that, the manager explained that this was what was meant by "family style"--I guess the dishes are meant to be shared, but since I was dining with only one other person, and we had different tastes, that wasn't workable. I can see this approach being successful if you're feeding a large group, because then you can order enough variety to satisfy everyone, but otherwise I just think it's a poor idea for the customer. We ended up with a hefty tab and a lot of leftovers that we really didn't want to bring home. This could change, however. The management seems very open to hearing comments--they solicited our opinions about a number of things. When they noticed that we'd barely touched our pappadams, they asked if they were okay, and when we responded that they were way too hot for us (I've never understood why anyone would want to start their meal with an item that sears the taste buds), they said that they knew this and were planning on changing the recipe. They seem very into making the place a success and it's easy to root for them. They even have a nice sense of humor--when I tipped over my nearly empty wine glass while reaching for bread, the manager swooped down to pick it up, scolding "No more wine for YOU!" All in all a very positive experience.