I am not sure anyone can make a case that “Curry Hill” needs another Indian restaurant, But if there’s going to be an addition to the neighborhood, it might as well be the month-old Copper Chimney. Ensconced in the bi-level 28th Street space that has been home in recent years to both Danzon, a chic Mexican eatery, and the more downscale Euro Diner, Copper Chimney boasts a stylish and comfortable downstairs dining room and a truly gorgeous upstairs area, with both a swanky bar/lounge and an exquisite private dining room. (Combined, they’re ideal for throwing a fabulous private party.) And ven if you’re not hungry, stop upstairs some night and sample one of the house’s specialty cocktails created by well-known mixologist Jerri Banks. (And the bartender is pretty cute too!)
Back downstairs, the food is a beautifully presented as its surroundings – not always the case in Indian eateries. And it’s mighty good to eat, as well. A clever take on a traditional appetizer, the house’s Dahi Aloo Puri is a sextet of cups made of crisped rice filled with yogurt, potato and a touch of tamarind sauce. The oddly-named Chicken Sixty Five appears at first glance to be chunks of tandoori chicken, but the marinated fowl has actually been fried, giving it a nice crunch. The crab cakes, listed on the menu as a house recommendation, don’t seem overly ethnic, but they’re large and flavorful.
I often judge an Indian restaurant by its skill with the tandoori oven, and Copper Chimney passed the test by presenting a pair of beautifully grilled lamb chops. Another difficult dish, Lobster Masala, also pleased: Three large pieces of the seafood delicacy floated in a curry-based sauce that serves up just the right amount of heat. Perhaps our biggest challenge was selecting from the extensive vegetarian menu; fortunately our choice, Hari Bhari Daal, a creamy mix of lentils and fresh spinach, was delicious. But the real reason I am a new fan of Copper Chimney came when I saw the dessert menu. It’s the course I’m usually forced to skip at Indian restaurants, since everything is usually milk-based -- which isn’t good for me. So imagine my joy at finding homemade Black Forest Cake as an option – and my greater joy when it turned out to be really good! Of course, all the traditional favorites are here as well, sure to delight their many admirers.