Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan Indian

Great Indian restaurant

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Restaurants & Bars 14

Great Indian restaurant

Lucy Bradley | Jan 12, 2002 10:22 PM

Have found a very good Indian restaurant on West 52nd between 8th and 9th Avenues called El Nido's - also has an entirely separate Italian menu (can't vouch for that). Owner (I think) is from Hyderabad in SE India and several of the dishes are titled "sindhi style" refelcting the owner's language/cultural group.

Food is excellent. Have been there twice. First tip-off was the freshness and the zing in the condiment trio (cilantro, tamarind, red onion) served with excellent papaddums. The colors were vibrant and the flavors sparkled in the mouth. First time, I had mushrooms with nuts - delightful. Second time, I had dal saag sindhi style - spinach steamed with lentils & fresh vegetables then mashed and topped with garlic, ginger and spices - don't know what the spices were but did come across some leaves (curry???) - absolutely delicious - vegetbles were broccoli, cauliflower and carrot, all with a bite left to them. My husband both times had paneer makhni - marinated cheese cubes in a creamy tomato sauce - the 2nd time, the sauce had much more bite because he opted for spicy instead of just medium. His accompanying mango lassis cried mango and went down very easy, as did our order of garlic nan. The nan was nothing special but very solidly rendered. The staff (a young woman and the owner) are very pleasant and solicitous. The decor is inoffensive and the pizza maker is busy churning out pizzas for somebody????

The vegetarian portion of the menu lists 16 different dishes - that means I get to make 14 more trips. We had an excellent appetizer - batata wada - mashed potato stuffed with grilled shallots, mustard seeds, nuts, coriander & green chilies battered in a chick pea flour and lightly fried - again bursting with flavors. This restaurant certainly seems as though they prepare everything at time of order, which is in comparison to so many in the city where you feel your meal has come from a pot sitting for a lot longer than it should.

They have no liquor license right now but you can byob.

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