Photos by Michelle Gillan Larkin
Located just off the Bronx River Parkway, NH44 takes a unique, flavorful approach to Indian food that’s far from your standard fare.
A native of India yet known in Westchester for his successful Mexican restaurants (VEGA, Tako), Jeevan Pullan had been longing to showcase the cuisine of his homeland, but he kept his plans on the backburner for the past six years. “I wanted to bring something different to Westchester, but a lot of people didn’t understand my concept,” says Pullan, who grew up in the small northeast Indian town of Shillong, notorious for the world’s heaviest rainfall and “the blandest food,” he only half jokes.
“There’s a lot of old-school Indian in Westchester,” Pullan says, referencing staples like chicken tikka masala and saag paneer, “but Indian food is so much more than that.” With a mission to move away from the everyday but “keep it really simple and healthy,” Pullan went forward with NH44 late last year.
The restaurant is named for India’s longest highway, which journeys from the country’s southern tip to the northern edge, across 2,555 miles. It’s dotted with roadside cafés, featuring varied flavors along the way, and frequented by truckers, bikers, tourists, and regular travelers. Intimate and leaning toward café-like, Pullan’s NH44 is appropriately situated along one of Westchester’s main downtown drags, just off the Bronx River Parkway in Hartsdale.
Against vibrant murals inspired by India’s trucks and cool lighting, Pullan proffers made-to-order food focusing on culturally important classics and popular roadside grub — from kebabs and rich curries to notable goat and seafood dishes. Spices are house-ground and elicit a bold taste.
Because they’re so crowd-pleasing, chicken tikka masala and saag paneer have found a home on the menu, with Pullan’s top-notch tweaks. “The chicken is organic; we use less cream and oil; the spinach [organic when possible] is freshly pureed.”
Much like its namesake, NH44 is a welcoming beacon for Indian-food lovers (and others) adventurously traversing Westchester’s culinary roadmap — particularly those with curious palates, which, Pullan believes, have been craving exactly what he’s finally dishing out.
219 E Hartsdale Ave, Hartsdale; 914.574.5262; nh44indian.com