What foods do we crave these days? A number of Long Island restaurateurs seem to think it’s ramen, if the slew of new soup shops opening is any guide. But others are betting on the cuisines of India, bringing with them new dishes, new approaches to familiar ones, and fresh ideas on everything from fusion to atmosphere. Here are just three new and noteworthy spots.
Kuttanadan (248-54 Jericho Tpke., Floral Park): This little gem, still takeout and delivery only (” my kitchen is too small!” protests chef Anish Aleppy), offers some of the most fascinating, and finest, Indian food you’ve never eaten, courtesy its founders’ Kerala upbringings. Haven’t tasted peppery devil beef? Sublime coconut and vegetable avial? Soul-stirring cabbage thoran? Fried sardines? Friend, you are missing out. K’s heavenly malabari paratha alone is worth the trek. More info: 516-305-5083, kuttanadanny.com
Taste of Mumbai (153 Levittown Pkwy, Hicksville): Don’t let the name fool you. This month-old establishment’s extensive menu draws inspiration from much of the subcontinent, from the uniquely delicious potato cakes known as ragada patties, a beloved Delhi street snack, to samosas and tandoori-cooked favorites of the north, to sambar, a south Indian lentil and tamarind stew, to garlicky manchow soup, an Indo-Chinese specialty. Not to be missed: Sweet peshwari naan stuffed with raisins and paneer, and the chikoo shake. Composed of little more than milk, sugar and the pear-like fruit from a sapodilla tree, it’s a drink brown-sugary in flavor and utterly refreshing. More info: 516-261-9070, tasteofmumbainy.com
ABCD Indian Bistro & Bar (271-02 Union Tpke, Queens): The letters may stand for American-Born Confused Desi, but the menu is an assured and inventive take on Indian fusion just 500 feet from the Nassau County border (and thus closer to home for many Islanders than lots of eateries inside the two counties). One half of ABCD is a restaurant with say-what-now dishes like arancini balls with bits of jackfruit and paneer, a curry-sauced chicken parm, fish tacos and okra shards battered and fried into yumminess, while the other serves cocktails with names like Mumbai Mule and Garam Fashioned at a bar that’s both fun and swanky. More info: 718-347-0973, abcdny.com