Saturday night we took our dear friend Erica out for a small birthday celebration along with Samuel.
We chose MASALA ART (www.masala-art.com) at Tenley Circle here in DC as it has one of the most wonderful vegetarian selections and really the best Indian food in town! (Oh, Erica eats fish, but not meat).
It was a cold night, so we choose a bottle of earthy and full bodied FAIRVIEW PINOTAGE 2010 from Paarl, South Africa. In summer, I would probably go with the Rieslings they have, and since the don't offer red Zinfandel on the wine list, this red works with spices for sure.
We made our selections and Samuel started with the Vegetable SAMOSAs and adored the tasty GARLIC & PEPPER NAN so much that he asked if we could order a different one--so we did, and he liked the ROCK SALT & CILANTRO as well, but said the garlic won between the two.
We started with BHELPURI on the recommendation of our charming server, Kuldeep. Will was not thrilled with this dish of Puffed Rice, Chick Peas, fried-like vermicelli, peanuts, onion, mango and cilantro that comes in a taco-like Indian flatbread shell. I enjoyed its lightness, but have to say there are other things on the menu that are better.
Samuel moved on to his main course and it was indeed a brave new world for him as he is not a big sauce guy. Kuldeep said they would make a CHICKEN KORMA even though it is not on the menu, as they do this for lots of kids (of course, korma is on the menu, so it was not a big deal). Samuel adored the creamy sauce and moist chicken.
We chose one seafood dish and it is a big winner here...AJWAINI JUMBO PRAWNS are huge succulent shrimp grilled perfectly with spicy saffron marinade with carom seeds that I just loved to smother the rice with! Our other two dishes were superb veggie choices:
TAWA BINDHI-Okra sesame seed and cumin
and the rich indulgent
LASSONI CORN PALAK an amazing creamed spinach with garlic
We were full but Kuldeep came out with glasses of sparkling wine and a small plate of Ras Malai a sweet cottage cheese dessert with lemony citrus tones and a birthday candle! A perfect way to end a perfect meal.