A new restaurant specializing in the slow-cooking dum pukht-style cuisine from the Awadhi region debuted on the Upper West Side Wednesday night, bringing another mouthwatering Indian restaurant to the area. Awadh, named for the region from which chef and restaurateur Gaurav Anand focuses his culinary aspirations, offers familiar flavors like kormas and tikkas but strives to introduce some less common techniques (in NYC, anyway) to bring some fresh dishes to the Indian restaurant scene. Dum pukht dishes employ a low-heat oven, where food cooks slowly in a heavy-bottomed, sealed pot. Anand will use that technique on many dishes on the menu, as well as the grilled kebabs he made popular at his other restaurants.
Flavorful dishes like Awadh Murgh Tikka, a black pepper and pomegranate-marinated chicken and Kairi Ki Dal, yellow lentils with mango and cumin are two highlights of Chef Anand's repertoire. The spectacular Mahi Musallam sees a whole fish enveloped in masala sauce and slow-cooked dum pukht-style until it's tender and falls off the bone. Vegetarians will enjoy Dum Ke Hare Phooli, slow-cooked broccoli bathed in a fragrant saffron sauce and the Kofta Dilnaaz, cheese dumplings flavored with tomato and fenugreek. Finally, hearty biryaani rice dishes are also slow-cooked with a bready naan topper sealing in all the flavors.
The restaurant's interior is sleek but understated, with a monochrome style of beiges and pale golds. Seating is focused on the dining area though a small bar up front offers seating for a few solo diners or duos waiting for a table. Consulting sommelier John Slover, who's spent time at Le Bernadin and Daniel, accumulated some globally-inspired vintages for the restaurant, while tea sommelier Anamika Singh curates a selection of northern Indian teas blended with Himalayan herbs and flowers, as well as spices from southern India.
2588 Broadway, 646-861-3604; website