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Tawa on Summer St.

Stopped in at the new Tawa on Summer Street last night. I've always been a fan of the one in Bull's Head so I've been happy to see the expansion downtown. They've done a terrific job of redoing the former dark Ocean 211 spot with clean lines and Indian accents. The service was friendly and knowledgeable and of course the food was the same high quality. Fresh ingredients with the such great seasoning. They have a concept that the bar in front will be a "bread bar" where patrons can order any of the delicious Indian breads for a great starter. There are also a couple of seats in the back where you sit right at the counter and watch the open kitchen at work. They literally just opened their doors on Monday so everything is very new- I recommend it highly.

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  1. Are they planning on keeping the other one? Seems odd to have two restaurant locations in the same city, only a mile apart.

    19 Replies
    1. re: adamclyde

      The other one does a lot of takeout and more lunch business. I believe that they will be tailoring that one a little more in that direction plus bumping up the vegetarian dishes and cutting back on meat. The downtown has a full bar and hopes to do more dinner in addition to lunches.

      1. re: lillydaisy

        The Bull's Head Tawa has closed. Too bad. It was easy to get to, with free parking, and I would stop there often to eat in or take out. The new place requires taking on downtown traffic and parking in one of the lots with the annoying and slow centralized pay machines. I won't be there much, if at all.

        1. re: MommaJ

          Fear not. They have not closed. They are probably just making some changes. I just spoke with the owners on Saturday.

          1. re: lillydaisy

            Ooh, you just put a smile on my face! But they should fix the signage--it looks very closed and refers people to the Summer St. location. I'm sure many others are assuming the worst.

      2. re: adamclyde

        here's a hot flash.. the old one is becoming a Sino-Indian place!
        will be called Chinese Masala
        THis is a super hot cuisine in India, England, New Jersey and Queens and OMG, now in Stamford. Chinese food the way it's served in India! Apparently started in Calcutta (Kalkata)
        where there's a substantial chinese and TIbetan population and was spread country wide by a chain called YO! China.

        I searched it on Google and discovered lots of fun dishes, lamb and chicken lollipops, Dumplings, Gobi Manchurian. Promises to be lots of fun if you're looking for the next hot ethnic thing!

        1. re: Gourmetguy5757

          Are the same owners involved? This is somehow not all that appealing--too trendy, maybe? Perhaps hard to get excited about Chinese-influenced food? I'm guessing it won't last any longer than the Afghan kebob spot did in the same location, and I'd prefer to have the old place back so I didn't have to go downtown for Indian food. But now I've got three new places to try at Bulls Head soon, so I can't really complain.

          1. re: MommaJ

            Yes, the owners are the same so I'm sure it will be very good.

            1. re: lillydaisy

              The new sign for this plays says Chili Chicken. I thought this was a weird unappealing name. Anyone know what the deal is?

              1. re: queenregina

                Yeah, I spotted this last week.

                Chil Chicken is the best-known dish of Indian/Chinese cuisine (analogous to Chinese/American cuisine, it's the stuff Chinese immigrant chefs cooked to pander to local tastes, in this case resulting in a delightfully spicy fusion/mess).

                Tawa was great, but never seemed to find an audience. This is either a desperation move by the old owners (great; I love good Indian/Chinese), or a new regime trying something new (and noteworthy, as I don't know any other Indian/Chinese places in CT). Either way, it definitely bears checking out. Followed by a superb cannoli from Sal's up the street.

                1. re: Jim Leff

                  the new Tawa on Summer is really good too - definitely worth a try. Similar menu as old, just upgraded a bit (in a nicer setting too).

                  1. re: adamclyde

                    Do they still make those awesome chicken katti rolls?

                    1. re: Jim Leff

                      It's still on their menu, but I haven't tried it yet. Next time...

                      http://www.tawaonline.com/menu_upstai...

                  2. re: Jim Leff

                    Thanks. I just checked out the menu and it looks delicious. I'll have to try it.... And did you say Kathi roll? I had one at Aamchi Pao in NYC and it was awesome...I could really go for one of those!

                    1. re: Jim Leff

                      Went there last night and ate in their wonderful bread bar downstairs.. We started with three Kathi rolls: chicken, paneer (cheese), and veggie -- paired with three different breads. The surprising winner was the veggie stuffed in a nan roll.

                      Sat overlooking the open kitchen, so watched as the dough was spread, stuffed, and baked.

                      Place was not as packed as the first time I went, altho they were doing a brisk takeout business. Across the street Barcelona was SRO. Tawa is the sleeper on Summer.

                      1. re: louuuuu

                        Nice.

                        I've sort of danced around trying out Barcelona, but there are so many damned outlets, I never know which to hit. The one on Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield's most convenient to the Merritt....

                        1. re: Jim Leff

                          The one in STM is heavier with the garlic and spice than the one in SONO if that helps.

              2. re: Gourmetguy5757

                Meera on Summer Street has a partly Sino-Indian menu. I've tried some of it but honestly don't see the appeal. Nothing special really comes of the combination ... better to go to a Chinese restaurant if you want Chinese food.

                1. re: cteats

                  That seems a pretty broad conclusion to reach about a cuisine from a few dishes sampled in one single restaurant.

                  Imagine if someone had a lousy Italian food dinner, concluded it's a humdrum cuisine, and suggested that those wanting Mediterranean cooking would be best off sticking to Greek...

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    LOL! Wellllllllllllll.... sometimes that might be TRUE! Yikes

            2. As jfood sat outside eating tapas at Barcelona last night he was almost crying at what was done to that building. It looks more like a Las Vegas joint than a place that belongs on the restaurant T of Stamford. Shame shame.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                I posted the exact same thought a few days ago and the mods deleted it. It really is a SHAME. That was a beautiful old building.

                1. re: jfood

                  jfood do you mean on the inside of the restaurant or outside, never been. Doesn't everything have to be approved by the city before they do something so flashy. Shame Shame on the city if they are just letting buildings look tacky and not tasteful as Stamford should be.

                2. I've had the lunch buffet upstairs and dinner downstairs. A friend and I had martinis and split 3 appetizers at the bar. Very filling and delicious. The artichoke scallion pakoda was my favorite so far.

                  1. Well, color me impressed. I went to Tawa on Saturday night and had a wonderful meal. Man... I'm hoping to get back there soon. The chicken biryani was good, but it was the chicken chettinad that was the real standout. Very, very high quality. The naan was also good. Anyhow, just a quick note to say reaffirm what others have said... if you want good Indian (fairly upscale) go here. It's excellent.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: adamclyde

                      ...and if you eat downstairs at the bread bar, the prices are very very reasonable. As posted in another thread, this place may very well more than make up for the old Ocean 211 it replaced.

                      1. re: louuuuu

                        yeah, I didn't realize the downstairs had a different menu than upstairs until after we left. I probably would have preferred the bread bar for it's emphasis on the breads and small plates... But I've been on a kick going to tons of Indian and Pakistani places in Queens and Manhattan. And this place wouldn't be out of place among the better ones there...