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Monday, January 9, 2017

Bukhara Grill Inaugural Review Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

The ownership team of Bukhara Grill: Vicky Vij, Executive Chef Bachan Rawat and Raja Jhanjee
Delicious Chicken Biryani, a Peachy's best friend especially in cold weather

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You know you are absolutely freezing in Manhattan right now.
What could be better than warming up with great Indian food?
We could not be more thrilled to introduce to you Bukhara Grill, one of the most competitive restaurants new to us we've seen recently.  Open since 1999 at 217 East 49th Street, Bukhara Grill is owned by 
Vicky Vij, Executive Chef Bachan Rawat and Raja Jhanjee and all three of them were there on our first visit and it seems to us that all three of them want to be there all the time and we love to see that.  It is not so competitive when other restaurants only have one owner show up but these guys show up in tandem with absolutely phenomenal food and genuine pride and desire to be there and share their expertise with us, and therefore, you, the reader.  It seems like all three of them are there always.
As you know, we only tell you about the people that are the absolute greatest, so we hope these guys keep this up.
Though this is Indian cuisine, Bukhara is a city in we believe they told us Uzbekistan where they are famous for carpets and grilled food, but furthermore, Bukara was the name of the restaurant at the Sheraton in New Delhi, which is where these owners originally met each other before they fulfilled their American dream, so you can fulfill your dinner dream. 
All three of them have been together professionally for 18 years.
They regularly cater to the Indian Prime Minister and catered to the White House three times under George W. Bush for the Indian holiday of Diwali.  Even better, they want to cater to your stomach when you visit them and they are sincerely proud of their work and friendly.
Raja told us we should start with the Bahi Aloo Papri.  
We had no idea what that was either; it is a mixture of Indian spices tossed with crisps, potatoes and chick peas in a tamarind and yogurt mix, topped with mint chutney.  We found it to be not only exotic but also quite refreshing and a lovely way to cleanse your palate to begin.
Every review we insist on a green salad and the Fresh Garden Salad here is a winner.  Everything was sliced properly and was superbly fresh.  They put the dressing on the side for Ms. Uberpicky.
As a dish, Chicken Biryani is among Peachy's most favorite in the Indian food arena.  The spices employed here are outrageously terrific and when we commented on that, they told us they GRIND THEIR OWN SPICES.  They are raising the bar for everyone else now!  Peachy is going to start asking you if you grind your own spices.  This adds a dimension of extraordinary that is not seen everywhere!  The chicken boasts amazing tenderness and if we woke up in a bowl of this someday we'd die happy.  Especially if that day was frigid.
Another quintessential Indian dish they excel in is Chicken Tikka Masala: chicken pieces roasted in a clay oven and tossed in a creamy tomato sauce, cooked with onions, tomatoes and bell pepper.  They use Perdue (Mitzi will be pleased to know) Chicken and this entree is brilliant, fresh and just bursting with flavor.  It is spicy medium and did not set our Irish/English American tastebuds on fire.  
Please meet an appetizer from the sea: Tawa Crab.  Fresh flaked crab meat is pan-tossed with curry leaves, onions, tomatoes and ginger and is another striking dish.  They tell us seafood is delivered six days a week: super fresh!
The absolutely essential garlic naan is phenomenal!  Flaky, fresh and seasoned perfectly (although we love garlic and would be even more aggressive with it), the Garlic Naan should be part of your meal and will enhance everything you eat with it.
If you are a vegetarian, you will be happy with the Bhindi Masala: fresh okra is sauteed with onions and tomatoes and sprinkled with fresh spices and coriander.  This is of a lovely stewed quality and the chunky heartiness is particularly appropriate for winter in Manhattan.  The fragrant nature of this dish will wow you from the start even if you are a carnivorous eater like Peachy.
Raja tell us he has the most famous lentils in the USA and now we believe him and you will too when you try them; they are simmered 24 hours over fire with garlic and other spices and we cannot remember ever having better lentils.  Ever.
In keeping with her towering height, Peachy Deegan feels a tremendous affinity for shrimp, especially when they are as delicious as they are at Bukhara Grill.  You must try the Shrimp Kanhari: jumbo shrimps marinated in a traditional style, cooked in a tandoor.  Again, these boast elevated spice quality and there are four or five of them employed but they are a secret!
Telling Peachy that you don't believe she is a food critic because she is so skinny will get you everywhere on these reviews (we are kind of kidding but doesn't everyone love compliments?  Don't say this unless you mean it because some days she is thinner and some days she is not.) and we appreciate them saying that and insisting on two desserts.
We tried the Janun and the rice pudding; we liked the rice pudding best.
Bukhara Grill is authentic Northern Indian and Terrific Takeout!
We look forward to seeing what they do next. 

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