Adventures in Brazilian and Indian cuisine.
By Judi Gallagher
Recessions, job losses, mortgage failures—so where do all these new restaurants around town fit in? There are so many, I have certainly lost count, so readers out there, keep us posted if I miss one or two.
In the upcoming weeks, I plan to share as many experiences as I can—some good, some perhaps not so good and some, well, let’s just say we’ll give them a few more months to get their act together.
All that being said, here we go:
Brazilian Steakhouse on Main Street.
Hmmm….that’s one of those to revisit in three months to see if they got their act together. The salad bar, which you mostly stumble into, was a disappointment, with only one salad dressing offered that looked far from homemade and not many choices of fresh crisp vegetables. The room at first appearance is quite nice, and I do like the artwork; however, the tables and chairs are more apt for a cafeteria than a somewhat expensive restaurant. They would have been much better off with banquettes all down the right side, softening the look and the sound, which is noisy when only half full. In full disclosure, I am not an “all you can eat” type of person. (Now that’s not to say I can’t put down a two-pound porterhouse steak, either.) My personal preference is to eat my meats medium rare, and unfortunately it depends how the circle of men with swords roams the room. The prime rib and sirloin were flavorful, but we got the short end of the sword—offered medium well each time. Good thing they’re located right next to the Whiteberry yogurt shop so we could tuck into a raspberry frozen yogurt afterwards.
Switching gears to Indian cuisine, Daawat may be a winner. This town has longed for fine Indian cuisine, and I am thrilled to see the former Canvas Café building in Towles Court reopened. Again, full disclosure, I am personally not a huge fan of Indian cuisine, but found myself and my guest (who was also a newbie at this style of flavors) to be quite fond of our culinary tour of both north and south styles of Indian cooking. Chef Raj, best known for his years in New York City, is the real deal.
Start with the Vegetable Samosa appetizer (might be a thought to order a few dozen for the holidays) served with a mint and sweet and sour tamarind sauce. The Lamb Biryani is what I think of as an Indian version of Asian fried rice, made with long grain rice with saffron, exotic spices, nuts, raisins and fried egg.
Our favorite was the Butter Chicken, another perfect choice for an Indian cuisine novice—boneless chicken cooked tandoori style with fresh tomato sauce, cream sauce, butter and spices.
Naan, the traditional Indian bread, is made fresh to order at Daawat and served slightly warm. The Garlic Naan was our favorite, with a hint of coriander and perfect for sopping up the buttery sauce from our entrée.
Daawat owner Amisha Desai with chef Raj.
I loved the creamy rice pudding with cardamom and saffron as a slightly sweet ending to an unexpected spiced pleasure. Rest assured for those of you that are experienced and prefer hot and spicy, Daawat will not let you down. Their menu is quite extensive, but be patient. Everything is made to order, so don’t be in a hurry for this authentic Indian experience.