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Regional Dishes of India Flourish at Tandoori Taste of India
By Morris Gut
Bharat Patel, veteran restaurateur and proprietor of the long-running Tandoori Taste of India, has moved his restaurant from North Main Street to a new contemporized location along Westchester Avenue in Port Chester.
Tandoori, one of the oldest Indian eateries in Westchester, has operated for 25 years. The same management team owns and operates Indi Q in Armonk.
Patel is a pioneer, having brought diners in Westchester and Fairfield counties some of their first vibrant flavors, sights and sounds of regional India. The dining room and bar area are separated. Light grey walls are highlighted by modern industrial fixtures, lighting and colorful Indian artifacts. The dining room can accommodate up to 60 guests.
At a recent sitting, we enjoyed a dramatically presented stuffed dosa with masala spiced potatoes and served with coconut chutney and sambar. An order of chicken curry was an herbal delight. Marinated salmon cooked in the tandoor oven was juicy and delicious. For dessert, the freshly-made gulab jamun, lightly fried dough balls served in aromatic rose water honey syrup, was light and airy.
The menu at Tandoori offers dishes from all over the Indian countryside. Fine starters are traditional mulligatawny soup with lentils; chaat; crispy samosas, stuffed with potatoes, onions, peas and spices; Tandoori chicken wings; and crispy pakora fritters.
Signature main courses also include a selection of classic Indian gravies: curry, masala, korma, vindaloo, madras and saag. Pick your favorites with the addition of chicken, lamb, goat, shrimp or mixed vegetables.
Traditional Tandoor clay oven specialties include chicken tandoori; lamb chops seared in the clay oven; Tandoori kebabs; whole branzino; whole chicken; shrimp tikka; and Tandoori paneer tikka with soft cottage cheese grilled in the oven.
House specialties include slow-braised lamb rogan josh; biryani (steamed basmati rice with choice of chicken, lamb, goat, shrimp or mixed vegetables); and vegetarian dishes such as aloo gobi (seasoned potatoes, tomatoes and cauliflower), chana masala (chickpeas tossed in a medium spiced tomato gravy) and baingan bharta (charred and mashed baby eggplant simmered with herbs and spices).
The fresh Indian breads are a must. The puffed whole wheat poori, stuffed naan, onion kulcha and garlic naan are favorites. A variety of Indian beers or a glass of mango lassi will help wash it all down. Tandoor Taste of Indian’s liquor license is pending.
For dessert, try the Tandoori special kheer, Bengali rasmalai or the gajar ka halwa prepared with shredded carrots.
Patel said a traditional all-you-can-eat Sunday Indian buffet is coming soon.
The restaurant is open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. The same menu is served all day. Main courses range from $18 to $35. Full take-out and catering trays are available. Major credit cards accepted. Municipal parking.
Tandoori Taste of India is located at 223 Westchester Ave. in Port Chester, just up the street from The Capitol Theatre. Reservations suggested for larger groups. Info and reservations: 914-937-2727 or visit www.tandooritasteofindia.com. Also check out Indi Q, located at 61 Old Route 22 in Armonk. Info: 914-273-5931 or visit www.indiqarmonk.com.
Oktoberfest at the Melting Pot
Mondays through Wednesdays in October, the Melting Pot in White Plains will be offering an Oktober FondueFest. Three-course meals start at $45 per person. Highlighting the menu is a signature Bavarian beer cheese fondue prepared tableside, seasonal Bavarian dippers and fresh salad. For dessert, try the black forest chocolate fondue served with its own special dippers.
The Melting Pot is a national chain out of south Florida. They have been bringing the “fondue experience” to the public since 1975.
The Melting Pot is located at 30 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains. Info: 914-993-6358 or visit www.meltingpot.com/white-plains-ny.
Greenwich Wine and Food Festival
The weeklong 10th anniversary event will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 1 with “The Big Easy,” a special dine-around tribute to New Orleans that will take place at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. The festival will culminate on Friday, Oct. 7 with a gala dinner and tribute to Chef Jacques Pepin, honoring his extraordinary years in the culinary profession.
For info and tickets, visit https://serendipitysocial.com/greenwich-wine-food.
Fall Drives to Farms, Markets
Want to pick your own produce or visit a farm stall? Take a seasonal fall foliage drive with the whole family. Here are some great destinations. Be sure to check ahead for hours and availability.
Wilken’s Farm, 1313 Whitehall Rd., Yorktown Heights. Marking its 105th year, visit the farmers market or pick your own apples, peaches, pumpkins and even Christmas trees. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through mid-December. Info: 914-245-5111 or visit www.wilkensfarm.com.
Stuart’s Fruit Farm, 62 Granite Springs Rd., Granite Springs. This farm has been operating since 1828. Strewn with old tractors and rural artifacts, you can pick your own fruit and produce or visit the farmers market for fresh cider donuts, pies and other products. Open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Info: 914-245-2784 or visit www.stuartsfarm.com.
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard, 130 Hardscrabble Rd., North Salem. Operated by first-generation farmers since 2011, the farm store is open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On-site kitchen Monday through Friday. Get tickets online for apple picking. CSA membership available. Info: 914-485-1210 or visit www.harvestmoonfarmandorchard.com.
Hayfield’s, 1 Bloomer Rd., North Salem. Owner Renea Dayton’s multifaceted country market bustles daily inside and out. From the in-house kitchen are coffee, breakfast, lunch, soups, salads and ice cream. There are colorful flowers, too. Info: 914-669-8275 or visit www.hayfieldsmarket.com.
Muscoot Farmers Market, Route 100, Katonah (part of Muscoot Farm). Over 20 vendors. The farmers market operates every Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through November. Free entry. Info: 914-864-7283 or visit www.muscootfarm.org.
Morris Gut is a restaurant marketing consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in greater Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at 914-235-6591 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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