In this kind of weather, I don't tend to stray too far from air conditioning if at all possible. To say the least, not everything is good at any of these four places, but I had one dish at each of these places that really pleased me:
1. Utsav -- I like the modern look and feel of the place, but it is wildly inconsistent and not inexpensive. Still, I just loved my chicken and spinach curry last night (it is NOT called saag, and is spicier than most saags). And one condiment was superb -- the garlic pickle. Utsav, which features Indian food from many regions, is at 47th just west of Sixth Ave.
2. Kitchenette on 123rd and Amsterdam. The entrees seemed hit and miss here. I ordered the trio of seafood "burgers," and wasn't too happy with it (bread on bread on bread. But the cherry pie was terrific. Real cherries, minus the glop.
3. Flor de Mayo (on 84th and Amsterdam) -- the Peruvian dishes seem hit and miss, but I had a *wonderful* lomo saltado tonight, with the beef beautifully charred and more flavorful than, say, Rinconcito Peruanos, although the seasoning was not as interesting. It actually outshone the Pollo de Brasa, much to my surprise.
4. Here's the weirdest one. Big Nick's Pizza Joint (77th and Broadway) offers a "Big Nick Special," with ground beef, onions, fresh garlic, mushrooms, and the thing that caught my eye, "a dash of curry." I'm not arguing that it's worth a trip from New Haven to eat this, but the gestalt works (even if the huge glob of stuff on top makes the crust wilt a bit). Patsy's won't lose sleep over this, but it's an enjoyable, endearing mess of a pizza.
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