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Tawa on Summer St.

lillydaisy Aug 23, 2009 12:17 PM

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. adamclyde RE: lillydaisy Aug 23, 2009 01:04 PM

    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
      lillydaisy RE: adamclyde Aug 23, 2009 01:08 PM

      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
        MommaJ RE: lillydaisy Aug 24, 2009 12:04 AM

        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
          lillydaisy RE: MommaJ Aug 24, 2009 03:21 PM

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

          1. re: lillydaisy
            MommaJ RE: lillydaisy Aug 24, 2009 10:13 PM

            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
        Gourmetguy5757 RE: adamclyde Sep 9, 2009 07:12 AM

        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
          MommaJ RE: Gourmetguy5757 Sep 9, 2009 10:17 PM

          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
            lillydaisy RE: MommaJ Sep 10, 2009 05:32 PM

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

            1. re: lillydaisy
              queenregina RE: lillydaisy Oct 7, 2009 08:54 AM

              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
                Jim Leff RE: queenregina Oct 22, 2009 10:59 AM

                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
                  adamclyde RE: Jim Leff Oct 22, 2009 11:59 AM

                  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
                    Jim Leff RE: adamclyde Oct 23, 2009 03:34 AM

                    Do they still make those awesome chicken katti rolls?

                    1. re: Jim Leff
                      adamclyde RE: Jim Leff Oct 23, 2009 07:54 AM

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


                  2. re: Jim Leff
                    queenregina RE: Jim Leff Oct 23, 2009 07:45 AM

                    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
                      louuuuu RE: Jim Leff Oct 23, 2009 09:26 AM

                      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
                        Jim Leff RE: louuuuu Oct 23, 2009 09:55 AM


                        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
                          jfood RE: Jim Leff Oct 23, 2009 12:08 PM

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

              2. re: Gourmetguy5757
                cteats RE: Gourmetguy5757 Sep 10, 2009 01:15 AM

                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
                  Jim Leff RE: cteats Oct 23, 2009 12:02 PM

                  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
                    Gourmetguy5757 RE: Jim Leff Mar 18, 2010 02:56 PM

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

            2. jfood RE: lillydaisy Aug 27, 2009 05:50 AM

              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
                amanda3571 RE: jfood Aug 27, 2009 05:59 AM

                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
                  nbermas RE: jfood Aug 27, 2009 09:14 AM

                  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. a
                  artie3223 RE: lillydaisy Oct 20, 2009 01:30 PM

                  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. adamclyde RE: lillydaisy Oct 21, 2009 04:09 AM

                    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
                      louuuuu RE: adamclyde Oct 21, 2009 05:42 AM

                      ...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
                        adamclyde RE: louuuuu Oct 21, 2009 08:58 AM

                        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...

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