Marigold Blossoms With Indian Flavors in Eastchester

Michelin-starred Chef Hemant Mathur’s first Westchester restaurant is a bright, lively, fragrant, and progressive take on authentic Indian fare.

Step through the door of Marigold in Eastchester, and be enveloped by savory scents of saffron, cumin, ginger, garlic, and cardamom as your eyes widen at the garlands of marigolds and sunny details on the walls.

It’s as if you’ve just awakened, and you didn’t know you were comatose all along.

This progressive Indian eatery is the first Westchester restaurant by Chef Hemant Mathur, which held a soft opening in February. Mathur is the first Indian chef in the US to be awarded a Michelin star and retain it across two New York City restaurants: Devi and Tulsi. At Devi, Mathur’s traditional Indian cuisine transformed as he experimented through tasting menus.

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Mango coconut shrimp captures the sweet-spicy balance just right.
Mango coconut shrimp captures the sweet-spicy balance just right.

“I like to keep the authentic flavors across many regions of India but create my own version and presentation,” Mathur says. “India has changed now. If you see the new India, all the dishes there are changing.”

At 17, Mathur discovered his passion for Indian cuisine while working at Rambagh Palace Taj Hotel in his hometown of Jaipur, the “Pink City” of India. He’s also worked in Britain, Mexico, and Germany before New York City. Today, his New York City restaurants include Saar Indian Bistro, Veeray da Dhaba, and Veerays, opening this spring. Mathur also has Athithi in Wilton, CT.

Mathur first ventured outside NYC to launch Hemant Mathur Catering in Yonkers in 2017. The rent was better and the location serves as a central base for New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Plus there’s a big Indian community in Westchester, Mathur says.

Chef Mathur’s lamb chops are a must.
Chef Mathur’s lamb chops are a must.

Marigold is helmed by Mathur as executive chef, Chef Chandramohan Krishnasamy as head chef and partner, and Chef Ravinder Bisht as the daily operations chef.

The appetizers are first to reveal twists on tradition. Four spheres of slightly sweet beet arancini, punctuated by salty Parmesan, parade over a subtle tomato chutney, topped with a dab of spicy aioli. The eggplant burrata delivers a thick spread of spiced, smoked eggplant across charred multigrain toasts, underneath chunks of burrata cheese, halved cherry tomatoes and slivered radish moons.

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Mathur is best known as a tandoor master of traditional clay ovens, a talent highlighted in his succulent lamb chops. The New York-sourced meat is tender and bursting with flavor from the eight-hour marinade of yogurt, mace, cardamom, ginger, and garlic. Underneath the two fragrant chops lay diced golden-hued potatoes spiced like dosa filling and a pineapple chutney.

The flavor profiles are thoughtful for meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian entrées.
The flavor profiles are thoughtful for meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian entrées.

There’s an array of seafood, poultry, meat, vegetarian, vegan, and halal entrées, such as the paneer-stuffed portobello swimming in a luxurious cashew-saffron sauce with crispy potatoes, and for traditionalists, butter chicken with fenugreek and creamy tomato-onion sauce. A full bar should be available by press time with signature Indian-inspired cocktails.

For dessert, choose the ethereal mango panna cotta or the show-stopping street-food dessert called malai kulfi, a house-made Indian ice cream under a nest of falooda (cornstarch noodles), drizzled in rose syrup and crowned by basil seeds.

Desserts at Marigold range from subtly sweet to bold with flavors of rose, pistachio, and even basil.
Desserts range from subtly sweet to bold with flavors of rose, pistachio, and even basil.

“We wanted to bring city-quality food to the suburbs,” Mathur says.

Marigold
434 White Plains Rd, Eastchester; 914.202.9455
Website

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Related: Where to Find Authentic Persian Cuisine in Westchester County

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