Although it lacks the grandeur and formality of Tamarind Tribeca and Junoon, Amma is one of the top four Indian restaurants in NYC.  The intimate dining room has relatively plain décor – ochre-colored walls that clash with burnt orange suede wrap-around banquettes, Art Deco chandeliers, and strangely subdued carpet – but it can glow beautifully at night.  It is a modest restaurant that wants you to feel comfortable.  But the food is quite sophisticated and offers an excellent value (8-10 courses for $50) relative to other upscale Indian restaurants.

The only way to experience the true range and creativity of the kitchen at Amma is by ordering one of its two tasting menus (one of which is vegetarian), neither of which change particularly often, which is either reassuring or regrettable depending upon your point of view.  There are ginger-cilantro pea stuffed samosas and cheese-chile stuffed mushrooms and crispy fried spinach to begin.  Tandoor grilled items, such as sea bass and lamb chops, are standouts, as are dependable curry-based standbys like butter chicken.  

Amma means “mother” in Hindi (Anju Sharma opened the restaurant as a testament to the memory of the cuisine of her mother and mother-in-law), and the sense of a maternal force behind the satisfying home-cooking is immediately palpable.  Even the mustard chic interior was conceived to evoke a “space that has the signature of a mother and a home.” 


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Midtown East
246 E. 51st St.
New York (nr. Second Ave.)
Daily, noon-3pm and 5pm-10:30pm



    • Pea Stuffed Samosa & Stuffed Mushroom - ginger-cilantro peas in pastry, chili, cheese, potato stuffed mushrooms
    • Kele Ka Kofta - plantain dumplings in onion, tomato sauce, crispy okra salad
    • Tandoor Grilled Seabass - fresh lime juice, tandoori spices, spicy tomato chutney
    • Butter Chicken - mildly poached tomato cream sauce
    • Tandoor Grilled Lamb Chops - sweet and sour pear chutney
    • Laal Maas Lamb - red chili spiced lamb curry
    • Chicken Tikka Masala