Mon-Thu, 10am-9pm; Fri, 11am-two hours before sundown; Sat-Sun, closed
B, D, F, M at 47th-50th Sts.-Rockefeller Center
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
34th St. to 60th St., York Ave. to Twelfth Ave.
Taam-Tov is designed for those in the know: No streetside sign announces the restaurant, the door is unmarked, and the elevator is hidden behind Diamond District jewelers' stalls. Jewish men fill its small lunchroom, talking shop and kibitzing with the waitresses over plates of delicious, homemade-tasting Bukharan cuisine. The near-nil interior design consists of just a few brass mirrors, but diners come for the food, not the furnishings. Dishes hail from the states around Bukhara, Uzbekistan, where Jews have lived since the Babylonian exile. Thanks to Silk Road traders, the cuisine shows Persian and Eastern European influences—savory, deeply spiced, and unusual, for American palates. An Indian touch can be found in the traditional starter, samsa—as in samosa—a juicy sesame-speckled dumpling packed with chopped onions and chunks of lamb. The popular skewers hark back to the Middle East: Schmaltz-tinged chicken kebabs, and tender lamb with a firm charbroiled edge that all but pops in your mouth. Another bestseller is bakhsh, Bukharan pilaf, a hearty green rice dish made fragrant by cilantro leaves. French fries are the side of choice, served in a thick-cut, European style, with seared bronze exteriors and moist, flavorful interiors. To wash it all down are pots of green and black tea.Extra
Taam-Tov caters parties and corporate events with their own menus or customer-created dishes.
Samsa, $3; lamb shish-kebab, $15; lagman soup, $6; bakhsh, $13