Had an amazing authentic Indian dinner last night in the unlikely location of Bluefield, WV. This place is right on par with, if not better than, many of the casual Indian restaurants I have frequented in cities and neighborhoods known for their Indian cuisine.
We learned that Chef Robbie has been cooking at Mint for around 6 months. He was trained as a chef in India, and cooked there for 17 years before coming to West Virginia to work for Mr. Patel, a family friend of his who owns the restaurant and the adjoining Economy Inn. Chef Robbie is incredibly talented, and Mr. Patel and his staff are welcoming and gracious hosts.
Everything we were served was fresh and homemade. There were 8 of us, so it was the perfect opportunity to sample a good variety of dishes on the menu. Started with some delicious shrimp and vegetable fritters, chicken chaat, then we were served a beautiful seafood chowder (was not on the menu), followed by a trio of south Indian dosas and uttapam. Our "main dishes" included a mixed grill of tandoori chicken, lamb, and seafood, lamb biryani and vindaloo, 2 types of dal, okra, and cauliflower- all were incredible. The homemade cheese in the saag paneer was also a standout- so much that as stuffed as we were, we could not resist ordering the two types of fried cheese dumplings (again homemade) that were offered for dessert.
It's more than an hour drive for me, but I plan to make the trip often-- you just don't find Indian cuisine on this level in this part of the country.
Here's the info:
Mint Indian Restaurant
3200 E. Cumberland Rd
Open Tues-Sun- lunch buffet 11:30-3; dinner 5-10 pm
They do not serve alcohol- next time I will inquire about BYO- not familiar with WV laws on this...