Nestled in a blink-and-you’ll-miss it, modest location in the high 90s along Broadway is one of the latest additions to Indian cuisine in the city. Awadh is named for a once “princely state” in northeastern India, where “kings known for their refined and extravagant lifestyles” resided, as the menu story tells. The fare follows suit.
We got a table for two by the window, providing great people-watching for our Holi celebration. Rather than covering ourselves in colorful paint or powder, we were ready to celebrate the Hindu spring festival through gastronomy. “You won’t find the standard ‘take-out Indian food’ on our menu,” Chef Gaurav Anand told us candidly. As someone who loves take-out Indian food, I was excited to try something different.
He is right—this isn’t the type of thing that comes to your door in a round foil container late on a weeknight. This is high-class stuff. Minced lamb patties (“originally created for The Royals of Awadh”) come rich with spices, looking like a version of Indian sliders, and melt in your mouth. Light, crispy okra comes piled on cream with copper colored spices. We named one of the biryani offerings “an Awadh pot pie,” for the naan that bakes over the pot.
The menu culminates in what we consider the crown jewel of the royal lineup—the lamb shank. If unexpected, it is fall-off-the-bone savory, and one of the best things Gaurav has done with his new venture.
The space is smartly designed, with warm amber hues and dark wood that give the room warmth and class. The upstairs dining room feels somewhat private, like you’ve received an invitation to be there. And the staff was wonderful—a characteristic that is even more rare to today’s New York restaurants than is good food.
In fact, I needed a place for a group dinner the very next night, so I went back. The staff remembered me, the chef came by to say hello, and he told the story of the “princely state” of Awadh before my friends could even read the menu.
Awadh Indian Restaurant
2588 Broadway (Upper West)
New York, NY