REVIEW #80

Tamarind Tribeca

Tamarind Tribeca is the best Indian restaurant in NYC.  It draws on an eclectic array of regional influences (Punjam, Goa, Calcutta, Madras, Hyderbad, Lucknow), as well as French technique and other international flavors and spices, proving that Indian cuisine can be as sophisticated and refined a culinary tradition as that of France or Japan.  The 11,000 square feet restaurant (sadly, the original Flatiron location was shuttered in 2013) is filled with drama and sophistication, featuring limestone-clad columns, polished Brazilian teak wood and streaked polish floors. The interior exudes warmth, with shades of bronze, copper and olive green. There is a surprisingly good wine list, excellent high-end service and an open kitchens with views of the tandoor ovens that are used to cook many of the dishes.

Formerly, there was very little overlap in the menus of the the Flatiron and Tribeca locations.  With the merger of both restaurants downtown, however, most of the dishes have also been merged, making the already wide-ranging menus even more comprehensive. Instead of being cabined to solely the northern or southern regions as most Indian restaurants are, the menus spain wide regional and stylsitic borders. Among the best dishes brought over from the Flatiron location are an excellent shrimp balchau, a Goan dish that features a chili masala sauce; bhel poori, an Indian snack with assorted crisps and noodles and sweet and sour chutneys; and a she-crab soup with nutmeg, ginger juice and saffron. There is also nizami keema, grilled lamb strips, keema with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and lemon zest, in a baked nan pao and an outstanding sea bass cooked in the tandoor oven with yogurt, dill and lime zest.

In contrast to some of the city’s other restaurants that excel at a kind of Indian fusionism, the food at Tamarind is innovative without forsaking authenticity. It has also successfully transported Indian hospitality in its pure form. After immigrating from Chandigarth in the Punjab region of North India, Avtar Walia eventually became a co-owner of the fine Indian restaurant Dawat before opening Tamarind’s Flatiron location. He has imposed an atmosphere of gracious hospitality and has frequently been seen welcoming guests. For the unconverted, this is a ideal place to evaluate the merits of India’s culinary tradition; for the rest, it is a great place to feast on delicious, sophisticated Indian food in a handsome setting.

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INFORMATION

TriBeCa
99 Hudson Street
(212) 775-9000
Sun-Thur, 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-11:30pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-midnight
    Eric McCarthy, Chef (Tamarind TriBeCa)
    Santokh Dhenjan, Chef (Tamarind)
    Avtar Walia, Owner

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