Sandwiched between Men's and Women's Fashion Week, we attended a tasting at Awadh, an Indian restaurant inspired by the culinary treasures of Northern India. The Upper West Side spot, located on 98th Street and Broadway is perfect for both date night and sure to be a Columbia student go-to. As we entered the venue, we were greeted by Heather Grabin, who enlivened the entire room up, telling us about the wonderful feast we were about to embark on. Not satisfied with being a simple restaurant, they hired top consulting sommelier John Slover to put together a drink menu that would complement the region's food. For some spice, we would go for the "Indian Summer," which has chili peppers, mango, and rum. The clear consensus favorite drink of the night was the "Ginger Tail," which had vodka, basil, triple sec, lime, and of pieces of fresh ginger.
The food menu for the night highlights the Awadhi specialties including a twist on your typical Chicken Tikka called "Awadh Murgh Tikka," which had black pepper and pomegranate marinated for hours. Another dish that we would recommend for Indian food novices is the Awadh Murgh Biryani - mixture of delectable grilled chicken and rice. For those who might be a little more adventurous as we are, the "Mahi Musallan" is the way to go. Chef Gaurav Anand also prepared turmeric and masala wrapped fish filet, with the fish fully wrapped in a banana leaf, using cooking techniques exclusive to the northern Indian region. The fish melts in your mouth, with of course the signature spice and kick one would expect from the region.
While the night was winding down, we saw Grabin point out two men who seemed to not fit in. The notorious NYC's "most hated" party crashers struck again, grubbing away like they belonged. After many attempts, "a resolute guest" (who may or may not be the author of this piece) finally got the infamous crashers away. As Grabin brazenly put it to Page Six, "No kebab is safe from these guys." Despite the hiccup, the food is what really stood out. Guests kept coming back for seconds and third portions, declaring this to be "The new Indian food mecca of New York City."
Make your next dinner reservation at Awadh at 2588 Broadway.
By Nisim Frank
Photographs by Teddy Adolphe Photography