We went to Clay Pit Saturday night. We arrived at around 7:30 and were able to find seating at the bar for our 1 hour wait for a table. We could have eaten appetizers at the bar but we opted to wait for a table in the dining room.
We did eat the calamari though. Really, one of the best calamari recipes I've tasted. (Mikado's calamari has the number one spot in my heart.)
Finally, our table was ready but unfortunately, it was one of those first four tables as you walk into the dining room. If you go to Clay Pit, ask to NOT be seated at these tables. It's much to busy in that area. The restaurant by this time was packed and very very very loud. And cold.
Our waitress was clueless. So sad. She also had a low voice that could not carry over all the noise. I really couldn't hear her at all. (I forgot my reading glasses as well. So I couldn't see the menu either...duh)
My boyfriend got the mixed seafood grill. I asked him to describe it so I could write about it for Chowhound. He said, "It's really great." :-) Mahi Mahi, Salmon and Prawns.
It came on a bed of grilled onions.
I had the Saag Paneer. OMG......it was soooo tasty. The cheese was so fresh and the flavors were so perfectly balance. It came with a side plate of basmati rice that was cooked to perfection. I was very pleased with my meal.
I like Clay Pit. But I really hate eating in crowded dining rooms. I think if I go there again, it will be earlier.
Someone mentioned Madras as being better than Clay Pit. I have not been to Madras. Any thoughts on that?
Madras Pavilion is completely different than Clay Pit in atmosphere and menu. Clay Pit is more expensive and formal and from my memories serves a more Northern Indian menu (I'm sure others with more experience can tell you which region). Madras is completely vegetarian and southern style (they used to have a Jain menu as well).
If you are looking for a nice Indian place, my favorite is Bombay Bistro off 183/Braker. Like Clay Pit they don't stick with the tried and true Indian dishes and seem to go for more modern/fusion approaches (but not that modern). The dinner is about the same price range as CP but BB food taste better. Plus, it is not loud or that popular at night--though it is in a strip center.
Madras Pavillion is a totally different genre of food than Clay Pit.
IMHO Madras has pretty good food, even on the buffet (and I am usually prejudiced against buffet) but they are a way more casual atmosphere...have a huge lunch crowd, no need to dress up to go there, etc. And of course their menu is dominated by South Indian style food and is pure veg as mentioned above. They have a pretty good dosa, too.
Clay Pit is definately more upscale, u should dress up, make dinner reservations... I happen to think the food is mediocre---typical North Indian creamy fake restaurant food (the owners are actually Pakistani origin) with a couple of Mughlai/Persian influenced dishes on the menu, but a lot of ppl I know really like it. My family goes there whenever we take someone out to a "nice place." One good thing about them is that they make real biriani. A lot of places keep a biriani gravy ready on the side and don't mix it with the rice until an order is placed. But Clay Pit mutton and chicken biriani (i have never tried the seafood one so can't comment) are made the real way (meat cooked in the gravy layered with parboiled rice and then covered and cooked until the rice is done---called "dum" in Hindi/Urdu.) I enjoy their biriani, actually.
Anyway, they are both Indian restaurants, but I think comparing them is like apples to oranges.
i used to live in n yc which has the most amazing indian the US.i like clay pit and the food is always consisent,try the mussles in the amazing curry sauce and the calmari and lamb is great too.i agree get there before 730 on a weekend if u dont want to wait a long time.if your ever in round rock try cholas its pretty decent souther indian and is always busy.its near dell computer off loouis henna and ih 35.