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.

 

Telepan Local

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On the quiet path of Greenwich Street, keep your eyes peeled for the unassuming door and entrance that lead to Telepan Local in TriBeCa, because you won’t want to miss it. This restaurant has a really lovely aesthetic, clean, a little woodsy with an emphasis on unique, liberally placed mirrors. Food wise, the restaurant’s focus is on American style, small plates, locally sourced and seasonal food. 

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The great thing about small plates, is that it allows you to try a bunch of things during one dining experience. The first thing I tried was the Asparagus and Ramps (lemon ricotta and sorrel). This was really nice, the vegetables almost take on a savory flavor, similar to that found in an Asian dish. To offset that a bit, the lemon ricotta is creamy, almost yogurt like, and has a bit of that zest from the lemon. 

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Next, I had the Shaved Artichokes (faro and fried parsley). I really liked this one. The artichoke had a nice citrus flavor, and the faro was tender. The fried parsley was great too, it added a nice, light crispness and airy crunch to the chew and meatiness of the faro. 

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Then, I had the Grilled Octopus (red wine and almonds). I loved this one, the octopus was savory, tender and had this great char on the outside. The leaves here are lightly dressed, and have a nice vinegary bite from the pickled red onions. Then, you have the rich creaminess of the almond sauce with little bits of crunch from some added chopped almonds. 

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After that, we had the Sourdough Pizzette (fried calamari ‘marinara’ and romano). I really enjoyed this one too. The top of the dough almost has a creaminess to it, but then a great crunch around the edges and bottom. The calamari is a little on the bland side, but, the texture was a nice contrast with that of the creaminess and crunch of the pizza, and the sharp flavor of the cheese. 

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Of course, I had to get dessert too. I had the Apple Pie Sundae (deconstructed apple pie, cinnamon and vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, apple pie filling). This was the perfect ending to this great meal. The ice cream is creamy and rich, I especially liked the cinnamon, and really adds to the apple pie filling and caramel, letting you feel like you’re having an apple pie a la mode. It’s also confected with these little crunchy bits, similar to a sugar crusted dough, that adds a nice little crunch to the dish. 

The Shorts:
Name: Telepan Local
Location: 329 Greenwich Street
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, there are lots of other delicious sounding plates that I’d really like to try. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, the octopus and sundae were so great, I’d come back just for those.