Spicy Dishes for Foodies
By Morris Gut
NEW YORK– Get Great Curry in a Hurry in NY. The original Ambadi Indian eatery on E. Post Road, White Pains, was opened about 15 years ago by the Kalathara family of Bengal Tiger fame to highlight the street foods and simple meals of India.
At the time, Simson Kalathara’s Bengal Tiger, which had been across the street, was renowned throughout the area for its sophisticated approach to regional Indian cuisine.
New signage has been put up on the storefront façade. It is now called Ambadi Kebab & Grill. It is under the management of seasoned restaurateur Mahammad Alam of Mughal Palace in Valhalla. His wife Tangina Yesmin is in charge of the day to day operation in White Plains.
The 48-seat interior has undergone major redesign and construction. The front will now be all seating in a colorful beige and white, black and blue setting with pretty lighting and light wood-tiled floors. There is a daily luncheon buffet. There is a TV. Multi-color crystal style lights hang from the ceiling.
There is an updated menu, too, featuring regional Indian cuisine and Halal food. Great starters and appetizers include: Bombay Chat, crispy flour tortillas garnished with chickpeas, yogurt, cilantro, spicy and sweet sauce; Bhel Puri, a crunchy combination of assorted spiced crisps and potatoes mixed with sweet and spicy chutneys ; Samosa, triangular pastry filled with potatoes, green peas and spices; Tandoori Wings, chicken wings marinated in a mixture of garlic, ginger, herbs, yogurt, baked in the tandoori oven; and Gobi Manchurian, cauliflower tossed with peppers and onions in a flavorful ginger sauce. Lamb, chicken and vegetable Kati Rolls are also available.
Soups include traditional Mulligatawny, made with garden fresh vegetables, lentils, herbs and ground spices; and Tomato Rasam, a spicy tomato soup.
Tandoori & Kebab Plates include: classic Chicken Tandoori; Chicken Tikka, boneless pieces of chicken marinated in yogurt and spices; Sheek Kebab, minced lamb mixed with garlic, ginger and peppers wrapped around a skewer and roasted; and a hearty Mixed Tandoori Grill. Biriyani, saffron colored basmati rice fried with onions, cloves, cardamom and almonds flavored in vegetable oil are offered with choice of vegetables, chicken, lamb or goat.
Chicken, Beef, Goat and Seafood entrees include: Chicken Mahkani, boneless pieces of chicken tandoori cooked with butter, herbs and spices and coriander tomato sauce; Lamb or Goat Rogan Josh, cooked in Kashmiri masal, paprika and garam masala with onion gravy; Shrimp Korma, cooked in almond coconut milk sauce; Goat Kadai, fresh goat meat stir-cooked with coriander, tomatoes, onions and traditional spices; Beef Vindaloo, cooked with potatoes in a hot vindaloo sauce; and classic Shrimp Curry.
Mixed Vegetable Curry; and Malai Kofta, vegetable dumplings cooked in a mild creamy cashew nut sauce.
The tasty house made Indian breads are great for lapping up those delectable sauces: Garlic Nan, Onion Kulcha and Tandoori Roti are favorites.
Special Hint: Lunch Boxes to go will be available daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and come with basmati rice, vegetable of the day and naan bread, plus choice of meat and vegetable. For a limited time, Ambadi will offer a daily all-you-can-eat luncheon buffet for $9.95.
Ambadi Kebab & Grill is located at 141 East Post Road, White Plains, N.Y. The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. Sundays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Luncheon Buffet: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Mondays. Menu selections range from $5.95 to $18.95. Special Lunch Boxes from $5.95. No alcohol. Eat in or full take out and catering available. Casual dress. Major credit cards. Handicapped access. Municipal parking. Reservations suggested for larger groups. Phone: 914-686-2014 or 914-686-1746. www.ambadi-usa.com
I don’t shy away from decadence in my food travels and I would like to share couple recent stunners.
It’s about Spiedini, an old-time Italian melted cheese sandwich of sorts that is usually lavished with anchovy sauce. I had it twice this past month, once at venerable Mario’s on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx (www.mariosarthurave.com) where veteran owner Joe Migliucci skewed and fried it, oozing its cheesy center with every forkful. Lovely! Then spotted it a second time at The Quarry in Tuckahoe (www.thequarryrestaurant.net), where proprietor Domenic Cesarini offers a fine old-fashioned version to go along with his eclectic tavern menu. It’s a palate pleaser.
About a year after closing the original Pax Romana on E. Post Road, White Plains, the Runco/Russo team have relocated up the street to the former site of Vino 100.
During a recent visit we snagged seats at the corner of the copper-topped bar affording us a view of the long, high-ceilinged dining room in action. Exposed brick walls offset by large mirrors face the bustling dining area and open kitchen. We nibbled from the bread basket served with a tasty pesto/olive oil for dipping.
For our main we shared a bowl of Cavatelli con Broccoli Rape e Salciccia, with broccoli rabe, house made sausage, garlic and evo. It was delicious! Pax Romana prides itself on its fresh-made pastas. Also noticed customers enjoying tempting oblong shaped pizzas. As we left the place was filling up fast. It was loud, so the acoustics may have to be rethought. But we will return for more. By the way, TVB (‘ti voglio bene’) stands for ‘I Love You’ in Italian. Pax Romana, 171 E. Post Road, White Plains. Open 7 days a week for dinner only at this writing. Phone: 914-831-3303. Website under construction.
Here is a late summer treat you may want to take advantage of. Kenan, Ekren and Elvi, owners of Kee Oyster House on Court Street corner of Rt. 22, White Plains, are offering half-price lobsters on Mondays. I watched recently as staff helped shell a tempting crustacean prior to serving. On Tasty Tuesdays there are half-price starters. And, as always, Kee’s daily Happy Hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. are great for fresh $1 oysters with all the fixins’. Recently enjoyed a loaded Lobster Roll with a side of Old Bay chips at lunch. Open Monday thru Saturday. Closed Sundays. Kee, 126 E. Post Road, White Plains. Phone: 914-437-8535. www.keeoysterhouse.com
(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 the Bronx and Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: email@example.com)