Indian: When it debuted in Flatiron, Tamarind changed perceptions of what a modern Indian restaurant in New York could entail. Crisp white linens, soft lighting, and service so attentive it could make the staff of the Four Seasons (discreetly) blush, the restaurant was a bold departure from the fast-food vibe and fluorescent bulbs of the (admittedly delicious) takeout joints in nearby Curry Hill. Now, at the locations in Flatiron and TriBeCa, well-dressed groups of business associates, couples celebrating anniversaries and multi-generational family outings gaze at the glass-enclosed tandoor kitchen while enjoying dishes like fresh shrimp in a cumin-spiked coconut sauce, apricot-stuffed grilled lamb and crispy fritters with whole spinach, banana and cheese.
Flatiron District's Best Restaurants: This isn't your dadi's Indian restaurant. With stark white walls, stained hardwood floors, softly candlelit tables and pendant lighting, this high-end restaurant appeals to a cross section of neighborhood folks, navy blue-wearing professionals and hip twenty- and thirtysomethings. The kitchen focuses on flavors from Punjab, Hyderabad, Goa, Madras, Lucknow and Calcutta for inspiration, and serves upscale versions of South Asian classics like roghan josh, made with succulent roast goat, tandoor-roasted chicken in savory yogurt sauce, and grilled scallops in coconut mint sauce. If you're looking for a different type of late afternoon nip, the neighboring tea room features Indian specialties like ajwain biscuits as well as sandwiches, pastries, and hot teas.
Asian: Fashionably dressed with stark white walls, stained hardwoods, earthen accents and pendant lighting, this high-end Indian restaurant appeals to a cross section of neighborhood folks and hip, young professionals. The kitchen looks to the regions of Punjab, Hyderabad, Goa, Madras, Lucknow and Calcutta for inspiration. The result is an exceptional array of dishes that incorporate everything from gosht (lamb and goat) to samundri moti (fish and seafood). NB If you're looking for a different type of late afternoon nip, the neighboring tea room features Indian specialties like ajwain biscuits as well as sandwiches, pastries, and several varieties of hot tea. TRAIN: N, R, 6 to 23rd St
Local Expert Emily Saladino Says:
Indian: "Try afternoon tea with Indian-style sandwiches and pastries in the restaurant's adjacent tea room."
Flatiron District's Best Restaurants: "The three-course, "executive" lunch special is one of the best fine dining deals in town. Stop in midday for soup, mains like grilled lamb or yogurt-marinated salmon, and lychee ground rice pudding for $24."
Best for Indian Because: Tamarind serves top-tier Indian cuisine in impossibly elegant environs. Book a table at the domed TriBeCa location for dinner with a view.
Best for Flatiron District's Best Restaurants Because: This upscale Indian restaurant spans South Asia, and attracts a classy crowd to an otherwise unremarkable stretch of East 22nd Street.
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