Must try: Eggplant Chaat
Rajesh Bhardwaj, the Cafe Spice tycoon has spared no expense on the creation of Junoon, the upscale, fine-dining Indian restaurant in the Flatiron District.
At the helm of this flagship is celebrity Indian chef Vikas Khanna.
The interiors are opulent with a large 50-seat lounge and bar area decorated with hand carved wood furniture and two large antique Indian swings. The path to the dining area is led via the famous “Junoon Walk” which is a 50-foot passage lined by a reflecting pool. Unfortunately the most fascinating design element in this space is hidden away in the basement and is definitely worth the trip for a look-see. They have a glass encased “Spice Room” where fresh spices are ground daily to make a blend to flavor the marinades and sauces for the day.
The menu is divided by five distinct Indian cooking methods versus region. These methods are the tandoor (clay oven), sigri (open fire pit), handi (curry), tawa (cast-iron preparations), and patthar (stone cooking).
The food is certainly refined and flavors are subtle and well thought out. Certain dishes really stand out such as the eggplant chaat.
Is Junoon divinely outstanding – no, but it does definitely wink to its competitors such as Tamarind as something of a serious contender – Yes!!
Here is some of what we ate:
VEGETABLE SHEEKH KABAB
CHICKEN TAWA MASALA
SQUASH POT DE CRÈME
APPLE TARTE TATIN
SEASONAL TRIO OF KULFI