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Pondicheri

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

15 W. 27th St., New York, NY 10001 40.744449 -73.988306
nr. Fifth Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
646-878-4375 Send to Phone

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Price Range: $$$

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Photo by Angela Datre

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Official Website

pondichericafe.com

Hours

Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm and 5pm-10pm; Sat, 8pm-3pm and 5pm-10pm; Sun, 8pm-3pm and 5pm-10pm

Nearby Subway Stops

N, R at 28th St.; F, M at 23rd St.

Prices

$18-$32

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Breakfast
  • Hot Spot
  • Lunch
  • Take-Out

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Profile

New York has always been a hotbed for a certain kind of expedient, comforting Indian cooking, but thanks to the arrival of a whole cavalcade of talented chefs and their New Age restaurants, the options for an exceptional goat curry, say, or tender game birds cooked in the tandoori style, or wheels of roti and naan stuffed with garlic or threads of bacon, have increased in all sorts of dramatic and unexpected ways. If you feel like sampling variations of these exotic themes under a single roof, then run don’t walk to Anita Jaisinghani’s eclectic Flatiron canteen Pondicheri , where it’s possible to begin your day with a stack of coconut-flavored pancakes topped with jaggery syrup at 8 a.m., work your way through several braised-goat samosas and a platter of deliciously messy yogurt-and-ginger-encrusted masala chicken wings for lunch, and conclude with a dainty tandoori quail appetizer for dinner, followed by a helping of lamb shanks simmered in the rogan josh style, which you can enjoy with an interesting bottle of Wind Gap Syrah from the Sonoma Coast. Jaisinghani is a trained microbiologist who comes to New York by way of Houston, where she operates two award-winning restaurants, and she has a knack for shuffling together the exotic and comforting elements of Indian cuisine in inventive, accessible ways. On my last lunchtime visit, the kitchen was regretfully out of sautéed-goat-brain masala (it’s generally a breakfast item, they later explained), but there were three kinds of Mumbai-style “frankie” roti wraps to choose from (try the all-day breakfast version, filled with scrambled masala eggs and chutney), aloo parathas flavored with soft potatoes or carrots, and fat bun-kebab sandwiches stuffed with skewers of grilled, minty lamb. Meatless Monday is the weekly vegetarian feast day at this diverse, vibrant restaurant, but no matter when you visit, be sure to sample the tempting array of products from the prolific house “bake lab,” in particular the giant chewy cookies touched with coconut and mint or chile-spiced chocolate, the gulab jamun doughnuts soaked in rose-­cardamom syrup, and Jaisinghani’s famous chai pie, which has the consistency of New York cheesecake and is topped with whipped cream and a scattering of candied cashews.

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Best of New York Awards
Best Samosas  (2017)
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