I noticed in a thread from last August that Haveli (100 Second Avenue bet. 5th and 6th Sts., 212-982-0533) was seriously taken to task for "slipshod" and pushy service.
I went there Tuesday night with five people because I think it's the best Indian restaurant in that neck of the Indian woods. (I'd say Mitali East on 6th Street is a close second. And I think the best Indian in Manhattan regardless of location right now are Tamarind on E. 22nd and the new edition of Bukhara Grill on East 58th St., which also recently pleased the goodly Eric Asimov.)
Anyway. Someone must have rattled some chains at Haveli, because the service was focused, courteous, and fairly well coordinated (one drink order was a few minutes later in arriving than the rest, but it was a blender drink).
Like many Indian restaurants in that area, Haveli is very dark, but some people prefer that. The food was quite good. Though I've had better poori and paratha, dakkha liver (sp? minced chicken liver) was perfectly seasoned with a light cinnamon afterglow. My lamb vindaloo was SEARINGLY HOT (it seldom is) and tender and delicious. I tasted my partner's tandoori chicken and it was splendidly moist and flavorful.
Haveli will run you a few dollars more than some of the places around the corner on "Indian Row," but it's worth it. I mainly wanted to report that the service is back on track--at least it was on Tuesday night.
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