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Every time I eat here just emphasizes to me what an excellent restaurant this is.   A word to the wise: have the soft-shell crab while it's here.   Also, I have to say that the pulled jackfruit

I mean, who wouldn't want to talk about something as hilarious as sending a patron trying to get to the bathroom back to his table for a birthday presentation?

I'm going to use real pricing here (price + tax + tip), because I increasingly feel like excluding tax and tip is improper.

 

This is worded differently on the menu but basically the cost is $20 to sit down and then $26 for each dish (except amuses are $13 each but you must buy them in pairs). The menu is divided into first, second, third, fourth with a hint that these represent amuse+apps+mains+dessert although nothing is even remotely main sized. In addition there's a "roast lamb" for sharing, carrying a $49 supplement. It's not clear what to expect and whether the supplement is for one or two but in reality this is a sort of build your own lamb taco thing. There are also stuffed bread on offer, which are not breads in the usual sense but rather little sandwiches (two bites per person) at $18.

 

There was little to write home about in terms of high end ingredients. (like, if you know how to count then a tasting menu here would probably be 50% more than a similarly sized menu at Blanca if you added in the bites of aged wagyu, king crab, duck, house made charcuterie, etc.)

 

However, everything is just extremely delicious and the sophistication and balance are well above the pay grade of other Indian restaurants I've eaten in. Service managed to avoid comedy even though it's only been open for a couple of weeks. They'll get their michelin star for sure.

 

Nice wine list, usual ugly nyc markups but nothing extra offensive. Cocktails are $21 and, I'm told, very good.

 

p.s. it was funny to watch a table of Indian expats who came to see what all the fuss back home was about. When every miniature course was placed in front of them there was a combination of laughter and disbelief turning into silence and then ordering another course after they tasted it.

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i wonder if this menu approach is for nyc only or if the delhi mothership has also gone in this direction (it would seem harder to sell to an indian clientele there but a lot of their clientele there too is western). at our dinner two years ago, the opening courses were all tiny but then there were what were very clearly mains to follow. and the desserts were all regular-sized.

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Michael and I were at Indian Accent two weeks ago on Monday, March 7th. After taking care of some personal business a couple of blocks away, we decided to do a walk-in around 6:30 p.m. I must say up front that we were immediately known to the house. I had completely forgotten that Paul Downie, previously g.m. at EMP, now holds that position here. He welcomed us at the door. In addition, another former EMP employee was at the reception desk. Wine Director Daniel Beedle, an alum of EMP, The NoMad, betony, and Juni, was not in that evening. However, the sommelier who took care of us came from Juni, and she took care of us the last time we were there. Finally, Paul told Chef Manish Mehrotra about us, and so Chef Mehrotra came to our table during the meal to introduce himself. A lovely man!

 

We began with four dishes from the “first” section (appetizers) all of which we intended to share. The ones we chose were: Paneer, Soy Keema, Sweet Pickle Rib, and Duck Chettinad. The first three were quite substantial and more than enough to be easily shared. In fact, the Soy Keema portion was, I thought, much larger than an appetizer for one should be. The most surprising to us of the four dishes was the Soy Keema which turned out to be very much like a chili but with no hint it was made with soy rather than meat. And speaking of meat, that short rib was very meaty. On the other hand, the Duck Chettinad really is a dish for one because of its construction and the fact that it was tiny. Though we did share it, it lost a lot by doing so.

Since we decided to have the Ghee Roast Lamb – listed on the menu as “to share” and with a single supplement of $38 – we didn’t order anything from the “second” section.

 

From the “third” section (which would be the mains), I chose the Tamarind Sea Bass and Michael chose the Chicken Seekh with intentions of sharing them. Both were definitely main course size – two good-sized pieces of fish and lots of chicken -- and easily shared. They were accompanied by a large bowl of rice. We hadn’t ordered any naan, but with the mains Chef Mehrotra sent out two different kinds. Each came in pairs and accompanied by two sauces. One of the pairs was filled with pastrami. In his review, Sneakeater mentioned that the pastrami was disappointing. As we were starting to feel full, we just ate the other two which were stuffed with something vegetarian.

The Ghee Roast Lamb was served after the mains. Definitely substantial! The style of the lamb reminded me of pulled pork. It came with four sauces as well as thinly sliced pickled cucumbers and radish to be included when wrapping the lamb in the roti pancakes. Along with the lamb, Chef Mehrotra gilded the proverbial lily by sending out an extra dish for us to share -- the Potato Sphere Chaat, which is on the appetizer menu.

At this point, being quite sated though not stuffed, we skipped dessert (though we’d originally not planned to do so).

 

I’m hardly an expert on Indian cuisine (and Michael even less so) and know nothing about authenticity. So, I could judge the food we had only by how it tasted to me. Overall, delicious! We agreed that THE dish of the meal was the sea bass. The perfectly cooked fish was moist and flavorful, and the coconut-based sauce was phenomenal. A close second was the Potato Sphere Chaat. Its mix of flavors and textures blew us away. If you go, these are a must! I was very pleased with the spice level in all the dishes, not always the case for me in Indian restaurants. I’d describe it here as at a Goldilocks level – not too low, not too high, but just right!

We’ve been to Junoon several times though not recently, and while most of the food we had there was very good, I think the cuisine here is superior. The décor is very appealing (far nicer than Junoon’s), and the noise level is moderate even with a nearly full dining room. I’ve never found service at Junoon to be anything other than distant and perfunctory. At Indian Accent, judging from what I witnessed at nearby tables, even if you’re not known to the house, the staff is very cordial and professional.

Our total bill before tax was $213. That included 2 two-course meals @$55 each, the lamb supplement @$38, wine pairings for Michael @$55, and a bottle of Pellegrino for him @$10. In addition to the comps already mentioned, I was comped a non-alcoholic mango fizz.

 

Indian Accent Photos

 

 

 

 

 

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Jah, Junoon was...not aesthetically appealing, at least in its physical decor.

 

I remember reading during the pre-launch hype that front of house was comprised of EMP alumni. Good. I suppose I will have to try it. The prices Roz paid seemed reasonable for a restaurant in the upper echelon, though I suppose I'll have to order more dishes. ^_^

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A word about spice levels. As Roz mentioned, the overall spice level seemed just right (the Goldilocks - level?) However , one of the four sauces that accompanied the Ghee Roast Lamb (lamb to share) was quite spicy. I really enjoyed the opportunity to increase the level as I seemed to be able to tolerate it. It was a great sinus cleanser! The Château Neuf du Pape went well with the lamb and the milder sauces but the beer I had was definitely on point for the higher spice level.

 

During our interaction with Paul Downie the GM, we told him one of the reasons we were in town was to attend the C-Cap Benefit (Careers in Culinary Arts) honoring Chef Humm. Paul Told us that Chef Mehrotra would be one of the many chefs attending the event.

At his table he was featuring Dal Moradabadi from northern India. This is apparently a very popular Indian street food from the city of

Moradabad. Roz took one bite and immediately handed it to me. Apparently way to spicy. I had already had one and was happy to finish hers off. Maybe the spice levels could be negotiated at his restaurant. It was surprising he would choose such a high spice level at an event crowded with so many people. But, no problem for me.

 

One comment regarding the Chicken Seekh at the restaurant. I thought it was very tasty. Roz said only ok? Opinions - Opinions!

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