Friday, March 16, 2007

Passage to India

Passage to India
17 Main St., Mount Kisco
(914) 244-9595
Sitting at the lunch buffet the other day at The Passage to India, I was reminded of what Indian restaurant food used to be like in the early nineties in the US. I pondered three meat curries in front of me—red, slightly redder, and slightly less red. Soggy pieces of meat floated around, assaulting the tongue with approximately the same sensation. The meats were different, but that did not seem to make much of a difference. And so I sat there with my wife at one of the small tables right next by the glass frontage at the entrance, with the sun streaking down upon us on a perfect Westchester early summer afternoon, reflecting on the other Passage to India, E. M. Forster’s somewhat stereotypical novel of an Englishwoman’s encounter with the mystical East, of pomegranates and Miss Adela Quested, and what these listless concoctions were doing in front of me. Indian food is not just supposed to be spicy as many might interpret—sort of like a football game that at first sight could reflect the use of brute force over technique. But let me not dwell too long on what did not quite work out for me. The fritters were great, nice and crispy as were both the desserts offered that afternoon. One was the Halwa. Aside from some pink food coloring, it was refreshingly tasty, and surprisingly restrained in its sugar content—something that appealed to our middle aged palates. The other dish was the milk based kheer that I felt was deliciously rich and creamy. Indian desserts have not managed to garner the partronage that the curries and rotis have and it likely takes a bit of an effort toget to like them. But if you do happen to drop by the Passage to India, do not leave till you have sampled their desserts. The restaurant started recently, at the site of a now closed Jazz club. At a time when Indian restaurants in the tri-state area are getting to be innovative beyond the vindaloo-tikka masala-tandoori nexus, this appears as a throwback place with food that could have been cooked with a bit more imagination and attention.
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  1. But their service is pretty decent, everyone is very sweet, and they deliver to my house! Have you been to Bollywood Bistro (sp?) in Pleasantville?