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Utsav - Fine Indian Dining in New York City

April 26, 2012 - by Kristopher Carpenter

Between 46th and 47th streets, right next to the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Laura Pels Theatre – is the ground floor entrance to Utsav. A welcoming entrance, giving way to a full bar and a small seating space for evening bar patrons. While upstairs, the floor to ceiling windows offer elevated views of an attractive, open plaza of trees, bushes and globe lights in the heart of the theatre district. They also offer lovely outdoor seating for lunch, dinner, or drinks.

The wait staff is attentive but unobtrusive, the wine list is small but well assembled, and the cuisine takes its influences from several regions of India. The menu maintains an eclectic feel while having some great stand out dishes such as Baghera Jhinga (A sauteed shrimp with curry, mustard seed and red chilies in coconut sauce)  and the kahori kabab (tender, vibrantly flavored, grilled ground lamb.) If you want an assortment dish there are plenty of options including the Tandoori Mixed Grill and the vegetarian assortment of samosa, as well as veggies, kali dal, pickles, raita, and poori – the Traditional Thali.

There are also several specialty menus that are inviting for the novice in ethnic eating including “Lunch-to-Go” starting at an amazing $7.95 and an expansive noon to 3:00 lunch buffet for just $18.95. Their best specialty menu may be the three course prix-fixe dinner; which is a great choice not only for the variety built into it but also for the amount of cuisine served for $32. The “Broadway Special” as it’s aptly named, is served 5:30 – 7:30pm daily. 

If you decide to pursue the prix-fixe menu try the Samosa (stuffed Indian pastry) is a great choice of appetizer, savory with a bit of spice. From there, the Lamb Rogan Josh, cubes of fresh lamb cooked with onions and tomatoes. For vegetarians I’d recommend the Aloo Gobhi (cubes of potato & cauliflower cooked with onions tomatoes & spices) or the Baigan Bhurta (a roasted eggplant puree with onions and a wonderful spiced up kick.)  

Prix-fixe meals at Utsav come with vegetable of the day, kali dal lentils, rice, and nan.

The dessert choices are all winners depending mostly on the diner’s mood and choice of after dinner drink – a silky mango mousse or the gulab jamun (a flour dumpling in sugar and honey) go nicely with a light, crisp tea; whereas the Kheer (rice pudding) or Kulfi (a rich, icy, Indian ice cream) are better paired with coffee.

So whether it’s before your Broadway experience, after, at lunch, or dinner sans theatre; Utsav has the versatility of cuisine and a variety of specialty menus guaranteed to please any crowd.   

1185 Sixth Ave. (enter 46 St. btw. 6-7 Aves.), 212-575-2525; www.utsavny.com

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