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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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Indus Valley: Indian. 2636 Broadway @ 100th; 23/16/$33; 965-8560; Off the chart good reviews; Attentive, helpful service; Spices and dishes to fit every palate; Modest prices; Freshest ingredients. Amazing $13.95 lunch buffet; Have some dishes hot enough for the most daring; Menu has anything you can think of. Not super fancy – but perfect for a Columbia University first date.  Endless selections- largest Indian menu I’ve ever seen. 

Awadh: Indian. 2588 Broadway @ 98th;  24/20/$48; 646-861-3604; Contemporary Indian in a modern, almost trendy setting; Innovatively prepared dishes; Truly a gem in the area as they are close to upscale; Try the minces lamb appetizer called Galouti Kebab; They have a lamb shank; The Naan is outstanding; There is a baby goat offering; Grilled Lobster; Sea Bass; and they will custom make a dish for you. 
Sapphire Indian: Indian. 1845 B-Way @ 60-61st; 21/18/$43; 245-4444; Great Columbus Circle location; Lunch buffet bargain- $17.95; Wonderful use of spices and flavorful dishes. Upscale scene. Inexpensive for Columbus Circle but pricy for the genre; No other decent Indian restaurants within 10 blocks of it. Worth a weekday lunch visit. Closed Sunday.  Huge menu.  Goat curry. 9 lamb dishes! 


Utsav: Indian. 1185 6th Ave @ 46th-47th; 20/20/$43; 575-2525; Known as a mid-town lunch option in the heart of Times Square & the companies on 6th Av around here; $22 buffet daily featuring a nice selection; They do a great job with their Naan;  Prices are too high on a la carte menu ($20-$27) for the genre;  However, if you recently got paid, the food is quite good though better options near by.  Perfect for lunch. 


Junoon: Indian. 27 W 24th @ 5th-6th Av; 25/25/$66; 490-2100; Innovative Indian cuisine in a more formal setting;  Gorgeous décor and spot on service; Michelin 1 star rated; Naan is some of the best you’ll have; They have a really cool ‘spice room’ showcasing their ingredients; Endless wine list; Lunch and dinner served; 5 course tasting menu for $65; Can order off regular menu; Lobster curry; Lamb shanks; Goat Curry; Various chicken and vegetarian options.  Not a huge menu. 


Tamarind: Indian. 99 Hudson @ Franklin; 26/25/$62; 775-9000; The former Murray Hill standout is now in a sleek TriBeCa location;  The ‘wow’ factor here is very high; Date and special occasion friendly; Elegant dishes & unique menu offerings; Food outstanding & different from ‘normal’ Indian restaurants; Bi-level setup and perfect service; Try the Chili Crab; Most main courses $26 & cocktails $12. 

Surya: Indian. 302 Bleecker @ Grove-7th; 23/17/$34; 807-7770; Vege dishes great; Brunch or buffet on weekends; Patio seating; Indian at its best. Extremely affordable; Large menu.  Clay oven wonders are created. $13 weekend lunch buffet can’t be beat; Amazing location near all the Bleecker Street action; Naan is heavenly; Reliable Indian fare – only average décor.  Service can be slow; Great rice dishes.  
Haveli: Indian. 100 2nd Ave @ 6th; 24/17/$31; 982-0533; Love this place; Joined forces with nearby ‘Banjara’ to form amazing kitchen. Upscale for the neighborhood; Nicest of the 6th Street Indian restaurants; Large menu of cared for dishes; Perfectly spiced; Two levels- spacious setting. Tasteful décor. Try the Rogan Josh or Saag Paneer. This place remains somewhat of a hidden gem and the best date-option for Indian in curry alley. 
Brick Lane Curry HouseIndian. 306-8 E 6th St @ 2nd Av; 22/15/$35; 979-2900;  Fiery, flavorful curries; Huge portions at great prices; Step up from usual 6th St restaurants in little India;  Curries ranked in terms of burn factor; For ‘hot’ lovers. The famous standard Chicken Tiki Masala excellent here; Pillowy Naan selections that are made for the curries. London-style curries; Fun time for the daring.  Try the Phall!  Location at East 53rd street as well.

Babu Ji: Indian. 22 E 13th St @ 5th Av-University; 22/18/$52; 951-1082;  Australian take on Indian cuisine; Very unique offerings like a Naan Pizza; Incredible tasting menu for $62/person;  Try their version of Butter Chicken;  Duck Curry, Short Rib Korma;  They have a beer fridge that is self serve!  Fancier cocktails also available; This is something different and worth a try.  Dinner only. 

Pippali: Indian. 129 E 27th @ Park-Lex; 24/15/$35; 689-1999; Former Tamarind chef brings excellence to Curry Hill; Nonstandard menu; Helpful service although mundane décor;  The classic Chicken Tikki Marsala with some Naan is always a safe bet;  Truly a huge menu with everything organized nicely; Affordable pricing from an excellent chef. Absolute excellence in food quality. 

Dhaba: Indian. 108 Lexington @ 27-28th; 25/17/$29; 679-1284; Lively feel; Probably the best of the Curry Hill restaurants; Very popular with locals;  Long, exciting menu. $12 lunch buffet. Tremendous bang for the buck here as it is dirt cheap for the quality; Heavily spiced dishes – vindaloo will burn you;Bollywood like décor; Very popular and well reviewed. Menu has it all- endlessly long.
Nirvana: Indian. 346 Lexington @ 39-40th; 23/21/$47; 983-0000; Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Saag is raved about; The garlic Naan is fluffy and delicious; Rabbit stew; Better than average service and décor; Fun street level lounge;  Actually is a nice date option for Indian lovers; They try hard and produce great food; Creative menu and unique variations. Huge menu to select from.  Lunch specials.
Darbar: Indian. 152 E 46th @ Lex-3rd; 21/15/$34; 681-4500; The cheapest of the ‘high end’ Indians in this area; $11.95 lunch buffet; Excellent choice; Split level setting; Locals love it; Very inexpensive. While nothing fancy, it is on par with the 6th Street Indian restaurants and a great option to the fancified East 50s Indian \restaurants in the area. Lamb vindaloo is amazing. Menu is endless – tons of goat option! 
Tulsi: Indian. 211 E 46th @ 2nd-3rd Av;  24/22/$58;  888-0820; One of 2 restaurants of this genre with 1 Michelin star;  Refined cooking including unusual specials; Quaint netting between tables; Great service; Website has mouthwatering photos; $25 prix fixe lunch;  Dinner – appetizers around $12 and entrees from $18-$36;  Several goat & lamb dishes and amazing Tandoor entrees. Somewhat limited menu. 

Bukhara Grill: Indian. 217 49th @ 2-3rd; 23/15/$37; 888-2839; Great 16 course all you can eat, 7 day a week, $16.95 lunch buffet; Dependable and reasonably priced; 2nd floor terrace; Flavorful dishes. Simply the best choice in area for Indian buffet; Butter chicken (chicken makhani) out of this world; Naan always hot and fluffy; Giant dinner menu. North Indian classics.
Amma: Indian; 246 E 51st @ 2-3rd; 25/18/$46; 644-8330; Broad range of great food; Considered by many the best Indian in Manhattan and it gets better every year; Hideaway; Truly good & not crowded. Gracious service & helpful staff; Lunch specials – 1 app and 1 entrée for $11.95; Pricy for dinner for genre but worth it. Very personable service; Lamb and chicken dishes stand out.
Dawat: Indian. 210 E 58th @ 2-3rd; 23/19/$46; 355-7555; High end Indian - Quiet but cool; Date spot if you risk Indian for a date; Stylish décor & a best bet for gourmet Indian; Been around for 25 years headlined by Chef Madhur Jaffrey; Where else can you get Duck Vindaloo; Lobster available as well; Naan and the other ‘usual’ Indian selections, all with a unique spin, available on the menu.
Chola: Indian. 232 E 58th; @ 2-3rd; 25/17/$37; 688-4619; Huge menu; Outstanding food; Great $13.95 lunch buffet; Lots of freebies given as well. Service top notch. Personal Iannation favorite! Service and comfort are top notch; The food is flat out outstanding; Chicken Tiki Masala and Naan make an Indian for a non-Asian and this place delivers.