The relocation of a popular, established restaurant ushers in with it a certain excitement but also a level of uneasiness. Will the dining experience remain a positive one?
In the case of Chutney Masala, Chef/co-owner Navjot Arora’s classy regional Indian bistro, which moved from 4 West Main Street near the Hudson to Main Street back in March, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
“There was plenty of nervousness, mainly because of going from 90 seats to 65,” says Arora, “but in the end we knew the people would follow. So it’s worked out.”
The kitchen still has a focus on using top, fresh ingredients, including house-ground spices, antibiotic-free chicken, free-range lamb, and organic flour. The menu has remained 75 to 80 percent the same according to Arora. New starters to sample include avocado paapdi chaat (semolina crisps, avocado, savory yogurt, diced potato and chickpeas with tangy chutneys) and tofu Manchurian; mains to try are the spicy prawns balchao with malt vinegar curry leaves and the tandoori-roasted wild-caught whole pompano.
For a bit of culinary theatrics, guests can watch naan and other tandoor items being made via the open kitchen, where a tandoori oven has replaced a pizza oven (from previous tenant Stone Fire Pizza). “Moving is a chance to look at everything you’re doing and reassess,” says Arora. Another new element is an Indian-inspired Sunday buffet brunch ($14.95), with dosas, Indian-style eggs with green chilies, ginger, and onions; and assorted griddle breads.
Arora is planning to open a Southeastern Asian restaurant (serving primarily Thai and Malay food) this summer called Sambal, at the 4 West Main Street location.