Indus Valley: Indian. 2636 Broadway @ 100th; 23/16/$33; 965-8560; www.indusvalleyny.com/; Off the chart good reviews; Attentive, helpful service; Spices and dishes to fit every palate; Modest prices; Freshest ingredients. Amazing $13.95 lunch buffet; Have some dishes hot enough for the most daring; Menu has anything you can think of. Not super fancy – but perfect for a Columbia University first date. Endless selections- largest Indian menu I’ve ever seen.
Awadh: Indian. 2588 Broadway @ 98th; 24/20/$48; 646-861-3604; www.awadhnyc.com/; Contemporary Indian in a modern, almost trendy setting; Innovatively prepared dishes; Truly a gem in the area as they are close to upscale; Try the minces lamb appetizer called Galouti Kebab; They have a lamb shank; The Naan is outstanding; There is a baby goat offering; Grilled Lobster; Sea Bass; and they will custom make a dish for you.
Sapphire Indian: Indian. 1845 B-Way @ 60-61st; 21/18/$43; 245-4444; www.sapphireny.com; Great Columbus Circle location; Lunch buffet bargain- $17.95; Wonderful use of spices and flavorful dishes. Upscale scene. Inexpensive for Columbus Circle but pricy for the genre; No other decent Indian restaurants within 10 blocks of it. Worth a weekday lunch visit. Closed Sunday. Huge menu. Goat curry. 9 lamb dishes!
Utsav: Indian. 1185 6th Ave @ 46th-47th; 20/20/$43; 575-2525; www.utsavny.com/; Known as a mid-town lunch option in the heart of Times Square & the companies on 6th Av around here; $22 buffet daily featuring a nice selection; They do a great job with their Naan; Prices are too high on a la carte menu ($20-$27) for the genre; However, if you recently got paid, the food is quite good though better options near by. Perfect for lunch.
Junoon: Indian. 27 W 24th @ 5th-6th Av; 25/25/$66; 490-2100; http://junoonnyc.com/; Innovative Indian cuisine in a more formal setting; Gorgeous décor and spot on service; Michelin 1 star rated; Naan is some of the best you’ll have; They have a really cool ‘spice room’ showcasing their ingredients; Endless wine list; Lunch and dinner served; 5 course tasting menu for $65; Can order off regular menu; Lobster curry; Lamb shanks; Goat Curry; Various chicken and vegetarian options. Not a huge menu.
Tamarind: Indian. 99 Hudson @ Franklin; 26/25/$62; 775-9000; http://tamarindrestaurantsnyc.com/; The former Murray Hill standout is now in a sleek TriBeCa location; The ‘wow’ factor here is very high; Date and special occasion friendly; Elegant dishes & unique menu offerings; Food outstanding & different from ‘normal’ Indian restaurants; Bi-level setup and perfect service; Try the Chili Crab; Most main courses $26 & cocktails $12.
Surya: Indian.302 Bleecker @ Grove-7th; 23/17/$34; 807-7770; http://suryanyc.com/;Vege dishes great; Brunch or buffet on weekends; Patio seating; Indian at its best. Extremely affordable; Large menu. Clay oven wonders are created. $13 weekend lunch buffet can’t be beat; Amazing location near all the Bleecker Street action; Naan is heavenly; Reliable Indian fare – only average décor. Service can be slow; Great rice dishes.
*Haveli: Indian. 100 2nd Ave @ 6th; 24/17/$31; 982-0533; http://haveliny.com/; Love this place; Joined forces with nearby ‘Banjara’ to form amazing kitchen. Upscale for the neighborhood; Nicest of the 6th Street Indian restaurants; Large menu of cared for dishes; Perfectly spiced; Two levels- spacious setting. Tasteful décor. Try the Rogan Josh or Saag paneer. This place remains somewhat of a hidden gem and the best date-option for Indian in curry alley.
Brick Lane Curry House: Indian. 306-8 E 6th St @ 2nd Av; 22/15/$35; 979-2900; www.bricklanecurryhouse.com; Fiery, flavorful curries; Huge portions at great prices; Step up from usual 6th St restaurants in little India; Curries ranked in terms of burn factor; For ‘hot’ lovers. The famous standard Chicken Tiki Masala excellent here; Pillowy Naan selections that are made for the curries. London-style curries; Fun time for the daring. Try the Phall! Location at East 53rd street as well.
Babu Ji: Indian. 22 E 13th St @ 5th Av-University; 22/18/$52; 951-1082; www.babujinyc.com/; Australian take on Indian cuisine; Very unique offerings like a Naan Pizza; Incredible tasting menu for $62/person; Try their version of Butter Chicken; Duck Curry, Short Rib Korma; They have a beer fridge that is self serve! Fancier cocktails also available; This is something different and worth a try. Dinner only.
Pippali: Indian. 129 E 27th @ Park-Lex; 24/15/$35; 689-1999; www.pippalinyc.com/; Former Tamarind chef brings excellence to Curry Hill; Nonstandard menu; Helpful service although mundane décor; The classic Chicken Tikki Marsala with some Naan is always a safe bet; Truly a huge menu with everything organized nicely; Affordable pricing from an excellent chef. Absolute excellence in food quality.
Dhaba: Indian. 108 Lexington @ 27-28th; 25/17/$29; 679-1284; http://www.dhabanyc.com/; Lively feel; Probably the best of the Curry Hill restaurants; Very popular with locals; Long, exciting menu. $12 lunch buffet. Tremendous bang for the buck here as it is dirt cheap for the quality; Heavily spiced dishes – vindaloo will burn you;Bollywood like décor; Very popular and well reviewed. Menu has it all- endlessly long.
Nirvana: 346 Lexington @ 39-40th; 23/21/$47; 983-0000; www.nirvanany.com; Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Saag is raved about; The garlic Naan is fluffy and delicious; Rabbit stew; Better than average service and décor; Fun street level lounge; Actually is a nice date option for Indian lovers; They try hard and produce great food; Creative menu and unique variations. Huge menu to select from. Lunch specials.
Darbar: Indian. 152 E 46th @ Lex-3rd; 21/15/$34; 681-4500; www.darbarny.com; The cheapest of the ‘high end’ Indians in this area; $11.95 lunch buffet; Excellent choice; Split level setting; Locals love it; Very inexpensive. While nothing fancy, it is on par with the 6th Street Indian restaurants and a great option to the fancified East 50s Indian \restaurants in the area. Lamb vindaloo is amazing. Menu is endless – tons of goat option!
Bukhara Grill: Indian. 217 49th @ 2-3rd; 23/15/$37; 888-2839; www.bukharany.com; Great 16 course all you can eat, 7 day a week, $16.95 lunch buffet; Dependable and reasonably priced; 2nd floor terrace; Flavorful dishes. Simply the best choice in area for Indian buffet; Butter chicken (chicken makhani) out of this world; Naan always hot and fluffy; Giant dinner menu. North Indian classics. Improving service. Flavorful dishes.
Amma: Indian; 246 E 51st @ 2-3rd; 26/18/$46; 644-8330; www.annanyc.com; Broad range of great food; Considered by many the best Indian in Manhattan and it gets better every year; Zagat’s Top choice; Truly good & not crowded. Gracious service & helpful staff; Lunch specials – 1 app and 1 entrée for $12.95; Pricy for dinner for genre but worth it. Very personable service; Lamb and chicken dishes stand out.
*Dawat: Indian. 210 E 58th @ 2-3rd; 23/19/$43; 355-7555; High end Indian – Quiet but cool; Date spot if you risk Indian for a date; Stylish décor & a best bet for gourmet Indian; Been around since 1986 headlined by Chef Madhur Jaffrey; Where else can you get Goat-Fish curry; Lobster available as well; Naan and the other ‘usual’ Indian selections, all with a unique spin, available on the menu. Chicken Makhani. www.dawatny.com/
*Chola: Indian. 232 E 58th; @ 2-3rd; 25/17/$44; 688-4619; http://www.cholany.com/; Huge menu; Outstanding food; Great $14.95 lunch buffet; Lots of freebies given as well. Service top notch. Personal Iannation favorite! Service and comfort are top notch; The food is flat out outstanding; Chicken Tiki Masala and Naan make an Indian for a non-Asian and this place delivers.
Moti Mahal Delux: Indian. 1149 1st Av @ 63rd; 24/16/$36; 371-3535; www.motimahaldelux.us/; Wonderful tandoor cooking; Signature dish is the butter chicken; Part of an international chain; Have a daily lunch buffet that’s unique – it’s all you can eat and dishes are brought to you as you select them from the kitchen; Many claim this to be as authentic Indian there is in the city. Certainly worth a try – I’d suggest a nice dinner here.