NYC — Spring 2016: Nirvana

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
So, I'm back from New York, and as per tradition, I will be posting about all the food adventures I had. I did not bring my camera with me on this trip because I felt like it would be too much to carry around with me and also an inconvenience to have to take photos with both my phone and my camera, so all the photos in these upcoming food posts were taken with my iPhone 6.

Lamb korma, saag paneer, and chicken xacuti

A little bit of everything with basmati rice and garlic naan

We arrived in NYC late Wednesday afternoon, so by the time we took a cab from JFK in the middle of rush hour, checked into our hotel in the Financial District, and settled into our room, we already had to meet my brother for dinner. My brother wanted to take us somewhere we hadn't been before, so he took us to his favourite Indian restaurant, Nirvana. It's considered to be a more upscale Indian restaurant, which means they serve authentic Indian food in a nicely decorated modern space with dimmed lighting (some might say too dim), and proper tablecloths and glassware on the tables. We decided on three dishes to share: lamb korma (creamy cashew and almond curry with aromatic spices — my personal favourite and go-to at Indian restaurants), chicken xacuti (Goan curry made with coconut and roasted aromatic spices), and saag paneer (Indian cheese cubes simmered in a purée of fresh spinach), plus regular naan, garlic naan, and basmati rice to accompany them. The food was fantastic — creamy, rich, flavourful — with generous portions of tender meat in the curries, and the naan was fresh and fluffy (the garlic naan was aromatic and especially delicious).

It's an Indian restaurant that is meant to impress, whether it's for a group outing or a romantic date. At an average of $20 per dish, it's pretty reasonably priced, especially for a midtown Manhattan restaurant. The only annoying thing was our server continually tried to up-sell everything. Like, even after saying that we wanted regular tap water, he still tried to push the bottle of sparkling water that sits at every table (they want you to open it so they can charge you the $8 without realizing that it's not free). Even after ordering two types of naan, he still tried to push for us to order the other ones as well (they have six types of naan). Even after my brother ordered his second glass of wine and knowing that my mom and I weren't drinking, he still tried to push a bottle. Like, chill the fuck out. Either than that, the service was pleasant enough, though a tad slow (to be fair, it was pretty busy for a Wednesday evening). But if you're looking for delicious, authentic Indian food in a modern, spacious atmosphere (or in Midtown), it's worth a visit.

346 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 983-0000
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