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RM Bistro Progressive Indian Cuisine closes in Commack

Rangmahal shrimp are sauteed in garlic, tumeric and

Rangmahal shrimp are sauteed in garlic, tumeric and lime at RM Bistro Progressive Indian Cuisine in Commack. Credit: Daniel Brennan

RM Bistro Progressive Indian Cuisine, the Indian restaurant that set out to bring inventive Indian food to Long Island, closed over the weekend in Commack after a short nine-month run.

The closing comes as its young chef, Apaar Verma, is out of the country apprenticing at Gaggan, the forward-thinking Indian restaurant in Bangkok that is No. 7 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. His father, Arun Verma, the onetime owner of now-closed Rangmahal in Hicksville, who worked alongside his son, took over the kitchen duties in his absence.

RM Bistro, which earned 1½ stars from Newsday in January, looked to set itself apart from Long Island’s booming Indian restaurant scene with inventive dishes that fused Apaar’s American upbringing with the traditional Indian cooking of his father. But it was clear from the uneven results that his “progressive fare” was a work in progress.

The Verma family announced the closing Sunday on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“Chef Apaar has decided once returning from Gaggan in Bangkok, to focus on honing his craft and learning more before pursuing future endeavors,” the note said, adding that the chef and family have new projects on the horizon.

In a personal Facebook message, Apaar Verma himself said, “In an unfortunate turn of events, RM Bistro is closed. Everything happens for a reason, and I will continue to work and grow as a Chef and am focusing on some future projects.”

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