Mint 2005

MINT

Location/Phone/Web Site: 150 East 50 Street, NY NY adjacent to San Carlos Hotel

Ph: 212-644-8888. Website: http://www.mintny.com/

Date Established: November 2005

Owner: Gary Sikka

Executive Chef: Chef team: Wilson Tushar Gomes, Vickram Gomes, George Gomes, Zakir Hoque

Pastry Chef: Wilson Tushar Gomes

Cuisine: Northern and Southern Indian

Price Range: Appetizers $6-12, Entrees $12 – $28, Desserts $8-$10.

Excellent Cocktail & Wine List 12 Wines by The Glass: $8-$18. Nice Selection of ½ Bottles. Bottle Price Range: $25-$185 (Good Selection Under $40).

Signature Dishes: Lobster Masala, Crab Tikka Cake, Smoked Salmon Kabobs

Beverage Program: Classic Coctails with a twist made with ingredients influenced by the spices and fruits of India; International wine selections.

Designer/Architect: Wid Chapman

Hours:

Dinner: From 5 PM ______

Lunch: From 12 AM

Brunch: Sunday 11:30am – 2:00 pm

Bar: Sunday–Thursday 5:30pm-midnight; Friday & Saturday 5:30pm-1am

Policies:

Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard and Amex.

Reservations: Recommended.

Wheelchair Access:

Opening Review, 2005

Mint, Manhattan’s newest upmarket Indian restaurant, is a labor of love for Gary Sikka. Mr. Sikka is a global businessman and president of a group of telecommunications companies in India, but his true love has always been food and restaurants. After achieving success in the business world, he went on to make his mark in New Delhi as a restaurant guru, managing, advising, and setting up and executing the menus of several restaurants and banquet facilities. Among Mr. Sikka’s notable achievements was Rubal (named after his only son, who is also a professional singer); Pavrita (pure), a vegetarian South Indian-style restaurant located in another prominent New Delhi neighborhood; and Vatica (flower garden), a restaurant and banquet facility catering to the Who’s Who of India in South New Delhi. After conquering the New Delhi dining scene, Mr. Sikka came to New York to make his mark and began by eating out in all of the city’s prominent restaurants, and especially checking out the hot new spots. Manhattan beckoned, and the next restaurant for Mr. Sikka was Swagat, located on Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side, which quickly became a neighborhood favorite.

That mint is a uniquely family-run-hands-on operation is evident from the moment one enters. Not only is Mr. Sikka visibly orchestrating the extraordinary operation, his son and lovely daughter are part of the show. Designed by architect Wid Chapman, Mint is a series of bold colors with special attention paid to the color of, you guessed it, mint. The 110-seat restaurant is located within the newly renovated San Carlos Hotel with a street and lobby entrance. The exotic atmosphere whisks you to Southeast Asia as soon as you open the door and spot the stone waterfall cascading down the wall. Orange, red, and fuchsia drum lights are snuggled together throughout the long dining room, and painted panels of mint, yellow, and green hang over cozy, striped banquettes. There is a semi-private room complete with audio video equipment that seats 10.

For Mint, Mr. Sikka has sought out a team of culinary talents to redefine New York’s perspective on Indian cuisine. His goal is to create a restaurant that celebrates the vibrant flavors of contemporary India, while celebrating its rich culinary heritage. The menu includes several signature dishes rarely seen on menus in New York and a selection of “Goan” style fish dishes, both curried and clay oven baked (Tandoori) as well as a traditional Sikkimese lamb creation.

Outstanding recommendations include such remarkable appetizers as crispy cauliflower, tossed in tomato garlic sauce; shrimp served with spicy Goan Balchao sauce; ground chicken turnovers with mint and tamarind chutney and an unusual mussel preparation done out of the shell in the South Indian style. While none of the spicing is “dumbed down,” the end result is complex rather than over the top or one dimensional and utterly delicious.

Not to miss entrees include the most tender and delicate Tandoori lamb chops, served over fluffy mint flavored mashed potatoes with mint jelly; vegetarian preparations including two versions of lentils: one with black lentils and kidney beans — the other, yellow lentils and spinach, infused with Indian herbs and spices. Even the often-abused rice preparation, Biryani, is impeccably produced in the traditional manner, rather than “thrown together” and based on tender chunks of goat meat and subtle spicing. Breads are wonderful, especially Nan, stuffed with coconut, almonds, raisins and cranberries. Don’t neglect the chutney sampler, which includes such offbeat offerings as eggplant and garlic chutney and mango, ginger, mustard seeds and chilies. There is a beautifully chosen and affordable international wine list and service that is without question the most polished and benevolent of any Indian restaurant in town. Stick with the Indian desserts, which shine: Homemade Kulfi (Indian ice cream), served on a bed of sweet noodles and airy Ras Malai are standouts.

True to its name, Mint offers a fresh taste in Indian Cuisine. Less than two months old, Mint is not only a labor of love: It is already one of New York’s finest Indian restaurants and is sure to bring Gary Sikka yet another success.


Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

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