Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vegetarian Indian Dining

Eating vegetarian is easy at Indian restaurants, and Tamarind Tribeca elevates the often austere experience of going out for vegetarian or Indian food. This is fine dining, with great cocktails (the signature ginger martini, with Absolut peppar). But still kid-friendly.

The huge, bi-level restaurant is elegant and refined, in an Art Deco building flooded with sunlight during the day. At night, dramatic lighting transforms the space, creating intimate areas.

We started with samosas, of course, my kids’ favorite. These had a twist; a pomegranate sauce that leant a touch of sweetness. The kachori, lentil and green pea pancakes, had dried mango powder on top.

The tandoor baked nan had none of the greasiness you sometimes get. I was able to convince the kids to get the onion version, but not the wild mushroom and truffle oil; I’ll have to save that for another visit, without the family.

The saag paneer was a more refined, less buttery version of the take-out Indian were are accustomed to, and the channa masala had a hint of pomegranate powder in with the ground chickpeas and ginger.

We loved the rich nargisi kofta, dumplings made of lotus root and cheese, in a saffron-cashew sauce, and achi khumb, shiitake mushrooms with pickled vegetables.

Tamarind is about twice as expensive as a neighborhood Indian restaurant, but more than twice as good.

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