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First bites: Mint at Roosevelt Field

Gulab jamun dessert at Mint in Garden City.

Gulab jamun dessert at Mint in Garden City. (June 2011) Credit: Newsday/Peter M. Gianotti

Mint refreshes dining out near Roosevelt Field.

The new eatery, an offshoot of Mint in Manhattan, starts with promise, plus a tile-backed waterfall, luminaria at street level, and a breezy, no-windows dining area upstairs. It's a pretty package at a site that once hosted Whitey Ford's Cafe.

There are a few curveballs here, too. And early on, Mint is batting about .500.

Mint is primarily an Indian restaurant. Veteran diners will recall that  Akbar, a very good Indian restaurant, originally opened here. But at Mint,  you'll also find  Buffalo-style chicken wings, chicken satay, crabcakes and tiramisu among the tandoori dishes, curries and vegetarian specialties.

Try the Malai chicken, tender cubes marinated with a mild combo of herbs and spices, sent out with a tangy dipping sauce. Or nibble on the chat papri, crisp wafers tossed with potatoes, chickpeas, chilies and yogurt, tartly sauced. Lamb vindaloo delivers the expected kick. And the combination of cauliflower, peas and potato in a light curry also is fine. The puffy poori tops the breads. Gulab jamun, akin to doughnut holes afloat in a warm, sweet syrup, leads the desserts.

If you dine upstairs, you may be seated sofa-style, in a space with a tent-like entrance.  The downstairs room is a bit more formal. Given the background music, you can imagine the whole place turning into a club after dinner.

Mint, 1 Ring Rd, West, Garden City; 516-307-8677.

Gulab jamun at Mint.

 

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