When I was in high school, I went into the city for three reasons: to visit my aunt, to see plays, on Broadway and off, and to go out for Indian food. I hadn't grown up with the spicy cuisine but upon first taste, I quickly fell in love with it. It was just so flavorful and filling and as healthy (or "unhealthy") as I'd wanted. My friends and I frequented the tiny yet authentic eateries the East Village for these meals, and as such, it became the first neighborhood that I was familiar with.
Fast forward a little less than ten years (that many?!) and my New Yorker-ness has improved quite a bit. Earlier this week, Shayne and I met Megan, Sofia, and Leslie for an Indian dinner at Bombay Talkie. A plan, I might add, that was made a month in advance via e-mail... as opposed to at the lunch table the day before. Oh how times have changed.
As soon as we'd gathered at the Chelsea find (made possible by the ever-wonderful ScoutMob), we ordered a French bottle of smokey Carmenere Reserve. Naan was quickly a must and we chose to have ours with cilantro and red chili flakes. Being as we were a table of five, we also ordered a second community carb plate with Puri, a whole-wheat flatbread that I'd never had. It was deep-fried and delicious.
For my main dish, I went the vegetable route and ordered Bhindi (masala sauteed okra) with lemon basmati rice. A few bites of Shayne's Chole Peswari (spicy garbanzo beans in a ginger-garlic paste, green chiles and coriander) and Leslie's Sukhi Harabara Beans (string beans, onions, tomatoes lightly spiced with cumin, coriander, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and mango powder served with mint and coriander chutney) made their way to into my belly as well. I needed fuel after The Yoga Playground at David Barton Gym.The meal was fantastic, the atmosphere was sleek and fun (the tapestry behind Sofia's head was influenced by Bollywood) and the company was, as to expected, phenomenal. In the next few months I probably won't be able to travel as far as I'd like (for reasons of time and money) but I'm glad to be in such a cultural and ever-changing city while I await my next trip. Having foodie friends like these to explore it with is going to make for a very exciting time.