Indian for the timid - Essex/Passaic/Morris
Suburban Essex group that gets together once a month ( were lifelong friends) for dinner. Two of us are adventurous, two are not. We'd love to introduce the other two to Indian food, but keep getting told NO. Can anyone suggest a good location, that they will feel at ease finding something on the menu, while I can try something more adventurous. Prefer Essex, or eastern Morris area.
Also, open to any suggestions other then Italian or Greek for places to try. Prefer reasonable priced but don't mind the occasional splurge.
I'm not too familiar with Indian restaurants in your area, but I am going to suggest something perhaps half-way. Pamir in Morristown is an Afghan restaurant. The food is something of a cross between Middle Eastern and Northern Indian. If the non-adventurous stick with things like the kebabs and you go for something more exotic, perhaps by letting them taste a little of yours you might convince them. It's not like Southern Indian cooking, though - no curries or vindaloo, it's more reminiscent of tandoori - lots of yogurt. etc. I think the food is very good, it's a BYO and quite reasonable.
Stamna Taverna on Broad St in Bloomfield would be perfect (for Greek)!
1049 Broad St, Bloomfield, NJ 07003
You might try Chand Palace Indian Restaurant in Parsippany. When I lived in northern NJ, I ate there very frequently, and always thought their food had an authentic "home cooking" feel to it. It should meet your geographic requirements as it is at the intersection of Routes 80, 287, and 46.
A few things to note: the a la carte menu is all vegetarian; certain nights of the week there is a buffet in the restaurant which I believe is also all vegetarian; but once or twice a week (maybe on the weekend?) the buffet is in their catering hall next door which I believe does include meat dishes. It's BYOB when eating in the restaurant side, but there is a bar on the catering side. Also, I believe both sides are closed Tuesdays.
Check out the web site or give them a call to confirm days/hours for the buffet. I think the menu is available on-line, too. There are typically multi-generational Indian families eating there, so it's economical and I like the atmosphere of the place. But if you're looking for something a little hip or more of a night out on the town scene, this is not that place at all.
Chand Palace Indian Restaurant
257 Littleton Rd, Parsippany, NJ 07054
I would definitely recommend Chand Palace. We go on Tuesday night for their wonderful buffet which would be a perfect way to introduce someone to Indian food. They have a very large, usually 12 to 14 items of delicious assorted foods. There is always something for everyone. Some a little spicy and some not at all. They even have dessert on the buffet.
1296 Centennial Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854
I agree that a buffet is a great way to introduce people to Indian food, because they can try a wide selection. If you're not going that route, though, usually when I explain that meats cooked in a tandoor are essentially grilled/marinated, that usually eases a few minds.