Tamarind

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I love Indian food, and have gone to my fair share of restaurants. But, oddly enough, I had yet to visit Tamarind. Well, I finally made it, better late than never, right? So, I was off to experience Tamarind in TriBeCa as part of my Michelin Challenge.

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You enter into a grand space, open, airy, light and pretty magnificent. There’s plenty of space in between tables, which, is pretty uncharacteristic of NYC dining rooms with space always being an issue. There’s also a wall of booth seating, almost like individual cabanas.

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The service here is impeccable, and no detail is left off. You’re brought an amuse bouche, we received an Onion Fritter (with green chutney). This was delicious, and unlike the name might infer, it was not greasy or heavy at all. It was light, soft, with pieces of of sweet onion throughout. The chutney was a perfect compliment as well, adding a slight bit of heat to the mild and sweet fritter.

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They offer a prix fixe lunch menu for just $25, which, is a total steal with the amount of food you receive and the quality. For my appetizer, I ordered the Kashmiri Salad (apple, celery, mix greens, walnuts, mustard-vinaigrette dressing). This was such an amazing salad, and I was pleasantly surprised at the generous portion (the plate in the photo is huge, for the record). The apples were fresh, tart, and thickly cut. All of the flavors went really nicely together here, and, the mustard-vinaigrette dressing was a great contrast to the sweetness of the other components.

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For your entree, you choose two main items. I chose Kasundi Macher (salmon in tandoor, yogurt, kasundi mustard, tandoori spices) and Kaddhu Ke Kofte (green squash, chili, gram flour, roasted onions, creamy tomato sauce). These. Were. Both. Amazing. The salmon was soft, juicy, and topped with a hot mustard, giving it a very unique and dynamic flavor. The Kaddhu Ke Kofte, similar to a hush puppy consistency, was really delicious. Similar to the Onion Fritter, this was substantial, but not overly heavy or greasy. And the sauce was incredible, spicy and savory, and I used it to mix in with the rice you also get. For the table, you also receive Naan and the vegetable of the day, which was Chickpeas and Potatoes. The naan was like a dream, pillowy and soft. And the vegetables were served similar to a stew, in a sort of vegetable gravy, a little bit sweet, a little savory, and very tasty.

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Lastly, for dessert, I ordered the Mango Rice Pudding. I really loved this, it was different from any other rice pudding I’ve had before. It’s served hot, and almost more of a thick soup consistency versus the more congealed version. The rice is tender and almost melts in your mouth, and the the creamy mango flavor really comes through nicely.

The Shorts:
Name: Tamarind
Location: 99 Hudson Street, NYC
Michelin Star: One Star
The Long and Short: Would I go back? In a second. Everything here was truly incredible.
Would I recommend it? For sure. Whether you go for lunch, dinner, a special occasion, you’re guaranteed an amazing meal and experience.

 

The Gorbals

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So, I was hearing a lot of buzz about newcomer to Williamsburg, The Gorbals. I also heard it was inside of an Urban Outfitters. My curiosity got the better of me, and I had to check it out for myself.

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To lessen any confusion on how to get to the restaurant itself, step one, look for Urban Outfitters. Step two, hook a right to the elevator once you enter and hit #3 floor. Alternatively, there are stairs right before the elevator, you can take those too. Hey, you made it! The restaurant is rustic and charming, and…yup, open kitchen. My heart.

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And, like I said, it’s inside a store. Peek through the wall paneling and you can shop with your eyes. The menu encourages you to share dishes, and so, I did.

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But to start, I ordered The Son of a Gun (mezcal, tequila, pear puree, lime, almond syrup, mole bitters). This was a great drink. As many mezcal cocktails as I’ve had before, I hadn’t had one with pear puree. Why the hell have I not had one before this? It was fantastic. You have a little hint of smokiness from the mezcal, a little citrus from the lime, and then to smooth and sweeten it out, but not too sweet, is the pear and almond syrup.

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Then, there were four dishes ordered to share. To start, I had the Broccoli (soy, chilies, vinegar). Perfection. The broccoli is charred, giving it a great, light, crispy texture on the florets. At the same time, it also acts as a little sponge, soaking up the soy and vinegar sauce, giving it an incredible flavor.

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After that, I had Grilled Shishitos (charred eggplant). The peppers were mild, and had a tiny bit of charring on the outside, giving it a nice, smoky flavor. But, the best part of the dish was actually the charred eggplant, which was a pureed sauce underneath the shishitos. It was a little sweet, a little smokey, and also savory. Basically, it was delicious. 

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Next, was the Octopus (za’atar, olives, pine nuts). The octopus is is served as one piece, with a delicious tahini-like sauce on the plate, confected with pine nuts and topped with the fried olives. By the way, olives should always be fried. The octopus itself was amazing, it was plump, tender, and had a wonderful flavor, which was enhanced by the za’atar. 

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Last of the dishes was the Black Bass (radish, watermelon, bonito butter). This dish was a dream. The bass was so light, delicate and flavorful. If this were offered as an entree sized portion, I would order this every time as my main meal. The radish and watermelon salad was a perfect compliment, adding some sweetness and crunch, but also topped with a yogurt dressing, adding an herby and creamy element to the dish. 

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So, that was the last of the savory dishes, but since everything was so incredible, I had to go for one of their desserts. I had Sticky Toffee Pudding (black pepper ice cream, maldon salt). Unreal. This was so good, and perfectly portioned. The cake itself is light, warm, and coated and soaked with a rich, thick, toffee sauce, sprinkled with large granules of the salt, emulating a salted caramel. Topping the dessert is a black pepper ice cream, both sweet and a little spicy at the same time, which, to me, is a wonderful combination. Each component here went together so well, it was the perfect finish to the meal. 

The Shorts:
Name: The Gorbals
Location: 98 North 6th Street, Brooklyn
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Absolutely. Everything was on-point from the service, so the drinks, to the food. Oh, and they had a pretty killer hip-hop playlist going on.
Would I recommend it? Definitely. And, they have a rooftop that I’ll need to check out. You can order drinks and snacks up there, and then, you can go down to the main level and go shopping at Urban Outfitters. Day complete.