232 E 58th Street
New York, NY 10022
Open Table Reservation: http://www.opentable.com/single.aspx?rid=11797&restref=11797
Hours Open 7 Days a Week
Monday – Sunday
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm Dinner
Monday – Sunday
5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
LUNCH BOXES TO GO:
Include rice, lentils and naan bread
VEGETABLE BOX 8.95
CHICKEN BOX 9.95 LAMB BOX 9.95
SHRIMP BOX 10.95
TANDORI BOX 9.95
Monday – Friday $13.95
WEEKEND MAHARAJA BRUNCH BUFFET
Saturday & Sunday $13.95
Copyright 2009 by Punch In International Syndicate.
Review By Nancy Walman
Restaurateur and chef, Shiva Natarajan, is a veteran to the East Coast gourmet industry having opened seven highly regarded restaurants; Chola, Tadka and Dhaba in New York City, Chola, Malabar Hill and Bombay Bar & Grill in Connecticut, Jaipore Royal Indian Cuisine in Brewster New York and Bombay at the Black Swan Inn in Lee, Massachusetts.
Born and raised in Calcuta, Shiva fell in love with the art of cuisine by spending countless hours in the kitchen with his family, developing what would become his life-long passion for food. Following his high school education in Bombay, he left India to pursue his MBA at Pace University in New York City. After spending years traveling throughout India, experiencing many different cuisine styles of his native country, Shiva transported his expertise of Indian cuisine to the restaurant industry of New York City.
We recently revisited Chola, a small, upmarket and attractive restaurant offering eclectic Indian cuisine on a busy Saturday night and conclude that it remains one of the best small Indian restaurants in New York. Singular appetizers include “iddly,” a southern specialty of steamed lentil and rice patties and “uthappam,” a vegetable pancake.
Also, masala “dosai,” the magnificent crepe made with lentils and rice flour, wrapped around potatoes and a fiery chutney is a hard-to-find dish uptown.(See recipe below) For entrees, the standouts are a wonderful chicken in a mild sauce with raisins & nuts, a so-called “Staff” or home-style chicken curry on the bone, and shrimp, tamarind, coconut-tomato sauce, a Kerala specialty.
All variations of curries are wonderful (no two sauces taste alike), and it’s wise to experiment with the Chola signatures, such as roasted chicken tenders, raisins, bay leaf and cashew sauce and sautéed lamb pepper fry (Spicy) Everything is special, including some terrific vegetable dishes (three versions of dal), onion fritters, ginger, cumin infused tangy yogurt sauce and spiced potatoes, eggplant and cauliflower in mild spinach sauce. Don’t miss the succulent seafood and tandoor dishes, nor the Jeera Ghee Rice (aromatic basmati rice, cumin, coriander, onions and bay leaf) and garlic naan (white flour grilled bread).
Desserts, especially “kulfi,” (homemade ice cream) are some of the best around.and even the homemade lemon pickle at Chola is special. This pretty place well spaced tables and banquettes, walls lined with mirrors, and fresh flowers and flickering candles on each table features service that may be some of the most solicitous in town. And here is the rare Indian restaurant that knows how to make a perfect martini.
Mr. Natarajan has become the dean of Indian restaurateurs and has created a unique family of authentic, yet approachable Indian restaurants, without the pomp and pretension of some of his competitors. Chola is quite special and, fortunately for me, is in my neighborhood.