A at 181st St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
155th St. to 218th St., Amsterdam Ave. to Riverside Dr.
Kismat Indian Restaurant can afford to be complacent. It's one of the only restaurants above 125th Street serving the robust and multifarious cooking of the subcontinent. But this Washington Heights institution, founded in 1984 and moved to its present location in 1996, continues to earn the loyalty of its local clientele by churning out exceptionally fresh, aromatic dishes embodying the cuisines of India and Bangladesh. The spacious dining room is decked out in forest green paint, extensive mirrors, and brass chandeliers; with the exception of a few miniature Indian paintings near the entrance, it could pass for an Irish saloon. The menu offers chicken, beef, lamb, and seafood stews with complex and fragrant spicing, as well as tandoori preparations, kebabs, and rice dishes. You'd be a fool not to order the lamb rogan josh, a traditional wedding entrée that blends succulent cubes of meat in a savory brown sauce with garlic and cardamom, and the superior saag matar paneer, a typically northern dish of homemade cheese cubes and spinach that’s been slow-cooked with cumin, coriander, and fresh green peas. Given how rare it is to find skillfully cooked Indian food that accurately resembles preparations in its countries of origin, locals in the Heights should consider themselves lucky.Recommended Dishes
Saag matar paneer, $10.25; chicken tandoori, $11.50; lamb rogan josh, $12.50; gulab jamon, $3