Tamarind is an elegant family-owned restaurant located in the Flat Iron-slash-Grammercy part of Manhattan.
The service is warm and gracious. The room is sophisticated in a wash of ivory hues and jewel-toned accents delivered on opulent fabrics that are framed and hung on the uncluttered walls. If you can, sit in one of the semi-private, raised booths (perfect for a party of four) that flank the dining room. Diners included a large party with children slurping mango lassi and soap-and-water fresh, Elite models nibbling on Tamarind Salad (fresh seasonal greens served with mango, pea shoots and red and green grapes).
Seated under a skylight I meant to order the highly praised Cod and Crab Cake (fennel and onion seed spiced cod and crab cakes) as a first course, but got all swoony and sidetracked and ordered the Seared Scallops that arrived on a stark white plate, marooned in fragrant green sauce of ginger, cilantro and yogurt. My dinner companion ordered the "special aagaz," cauliflower florets which, if I had decided to take notes, I could describe in more compelling detail than simply saying they were amazing.
For dinner I ordered the roasted halibut (it has a formal name and is noted on the menu as having won an award...can' t miss it). Enough tender white fish to feed two people, it is served on a brilliant yellow sauce of curry, ginger and coconut milk. And on the other side of the table, Murg Lazeez (ground chicken with spinach, yogurt and mint sauce) was perfect over fragrant rice and enhanced with a cooling tomato and mint raita. Rosemary naan seduced two carb-eschewing women...and happily so.
I did not look at the wine list, but the full-bodied Foley Chardonnay was an ideal to compliment to all the flavors.
For dessert we were treated to pistachio ice cream served in a tuile cup. Also delicious was the rice pudding (caramelized basmati rice and almonds, pistachio and raisins), a comfort that can only be compared to "mother's milk."