Wed, 01/25/06 1:33 PM
Perhaps it's that I grew up in upstate, NY, which for decades had little eastern food, and those that they had were crappy, because I hated Indian food, Thai, Vietnamese I also was unaware of food from Turkey, Egypt,...well let me put it another way:
We had great Italian, German, Irish and Polish Food. Some Greek and Russian too. Most Chinese was take out quality and Japanese meant steakhouse. Which a few were good, but for the most past, not on par with the European restaurants. Also, Mexican was really tex-mex, and we had no idea what BBQ was until the Dinosaur BBQ came to town and enlightened us.
Well, I'm so glad to be in DC where the diverse cultures mean an explosion of diverse restaurants.
Last weekened my wife and I went to the White Tiger on Cap Hill in DC for our first real venture into Indian cuisine outside the crud we grew up with.
I had lamb with a curry and tomato sauce, and saffron rice. My wife also had lamb, but prepared a little different.
The wine selection was ok, nothing special, but we found a nice Sonoma County Zinfandel that I was familiar with. It had berry tones to the nose, has a nice spice flavor with some oak and soft tannins, and finished clean with a hint of pepper. When we return, though, I think I'll go for the Chardonay to balance with the food better than the reds they had. I was thinking a nice bold wine would match up against the food, but really, I think a nice buttery, oak aged Chardonay would've complimented better. Like the yang to the ying of the food.
The food, was outstanding. The curry in my dish wasn't as subtle as my wife's dish, but the heat wasn't bothersome at all as it blended in well with the tomato based sauce. My wife, who chokes on anything spicy, enjoyed the curry flavor and never once said she thought it was too spicy for her.
The lamb could've been a little more tender, but the flavors were outstanding and the prices were reasonable for DC. Service was excellent. The waitstaff was helpful, to us novices in the Indian food department and our water glasses were never empty. Which is important for those who may get a little perspiry from spicy dishes.
The unleaven bread was tasty as well. Although, I would've liked the bread delivered before the rest of the food, but then I didn't have the problem of filling up on bread before my meal. Which I noticed could be the reason we both actually finished our plates and there was a little bit of bread left over. Many times, we find that when the bread is served too early, as an appetiser, we finish the bread and take home some of our meal.
so, the point is, I have a new found respect for Indian food, which falls right in line with the new found respect I've had for all the world cuisine I hadn't grown up on.