Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Utsav Festive Indian Restaurant - New York, NY

New York, the city of lights, dreams, theatre and finance, basically, the city that never sleeps! So as expectations run high for everything in this city, how can food be left behind?? NY is big, and there are plenty of good places to eat, but on our trip, we just had time to check out the major tourist attractions, so our choices of location were limited. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of eateries, and believe me, being a chef myself, and coming from the food-indulgent San Francisco Bay Area, we are hard to please in terms of food. So our experience at Utsav Festive Indian restaurant, an upscale eatery in Midtown New York, was a very satisfying one, and hence needs to be shared with you.

This place is located on a second-floor bridge over the plaza between 46th and 47th Streets. It's a large place aesthetically decorated in neutral and warm shades of wood, light orange and beige. The place is airy and spacious, and instantly makes you feel relaxed. On the ground floor is a bar, where snacks like spicy chicken wings, bite-size tandoori kebabs and Indian flat-bread "pizzas" are served, along with the drinks. The furniture is not too ornate, and sets off beautifully with the surrounding walls and tall glass windows. The lime green and white table-cloths help you concentrate more on your food and talk rather than keep distracting you. The lighting is soft and warm, and I was especially drawn towards the crepe fabrics that hung from the ceiling in patterns to remove the harshness of light and also create a festive mood! The Upstairs Lounge, which also serves as a private party room, is decorated with some bolder shades and carpets, again blending well with the surroundings.

And now about the Food, which happens to be the primary objective, right? Well, let me tell you that a few months back, you might not have heard good reviews about this place, and I think that's when the restaurant changed its Chef; anyways, we went there without any pre-conceived notions, just wanting some good food, and that's what we got. The Menu (link below) contains a large variety of Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian dishes and also some new wntrees on the menu that I haven't seen in other restaurants. The meat-lovers have chicken, murg, gosht, and seafood to choose from, while the veggie-lovers have the hot favourites like paneer and koftas, but also some unique dishes like Lahsuni Gobhi, Tandoori Mushroom and Khasta Kachori.

Everything was cooked fresh, and though it did take a bit longer to get our food, the staff was friendly and kept attending to us while we waited. The food, I think, was worth the wait. it smelled and looked good; the tandoori items were well marinated and cooked, whilw the gravies were rich and not too spicy. So you might want to ask them for more spice if you crave chillies! The portions were just regular, not too generous; The Kurkuri Bhindi and the Aloo Kofta Bukhara were really good. So was the Subzi Biryani and the Trivedi Daal (again, something different!) As for the desserts, I think there was nothing extraordinary about them - they met the standards.

Situated in the heart of midtown near Times Square, the prices reflect the expensive location. The entrees range from 10-15 dollars each, and even the desserts are a bit on the higher side. They do provide a Pre-Theatre Broadway Special which would work perfect for a dinner and theatre date! Overall, the food is good, but not something you can just throw your money for. Reserve this place for special occasions, or maybe lunch buffets, which are more affordable. But definitely a place worth visiting once, so you can come back and share your experiences with us!!

1185 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
The Menu

Utsav in New York

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