I always missed Grameen. It was a cut above all the other 74th Street restaurants and it wasn't open all that long before it went out of business and was replaced by a joint serving Indian Chinese chow. So I was thrilled to read Sietsema's column in the Village Voice last week and learn that it's now back to Bengali food again. I went there today with high hopes.
I delayed my visit till after sundown. It's Ramadan and it wouldn't be fair to the other patrons, standing around hungrily waiting for sunset, to watch me stuffing my face. The place was packed with families breaking their fast. The menu is mostly generic northern Indian, kormas and even chicken tikka masala, as well as the biryanis Sietsema praised. There are a few vegetarian Bengali dishes too. I ordered a goat rogan josh. Each dish is cooked to order so it took a while to arrive. It was a pleasant place to wait, what with the happy families eating, and the neat decor, which features walls paneled in light wood and straw matting. (same decor as Grameen) Now I know that people say it's best to let the sauce sit for a few hours to allow the spices to melt together, but the dishes must be partly prepped beforehand because the gravy had melded together to form an incredibly rich and savory accompaniment to the chunks of tender goat. It was soooo good!!
No, it's not as good as Spicy Mina's, and if you grew up in a Bengali family it doesn't begin to compare with your mom's cooking, but if you are around 74th street and want a good curry, this would be a very good choice. And at $10 including rice and salad it's a good deal cheaper than Mina's.
75-18 37th Av
Sietsema review in the Village Voice: