Mon-Fri, 11am-11:30pm; Sat-Sun, noon-11:30pm
4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; F at Lexington Ave.-63rd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
47th St. to 74th St., York Ave. to Broadway
Among New York’s ethnic restaurants, upscale ambitions are rarely rewarded. Purists kvetch that old world flavors have been sacrificed, while luxury-lovers may experiment with these fancified feasts, then return to Western reliability. Yuva, which bills itself somewhat cryptically as a “Frontier Indian Grill,” makes a game effort to please all sensibilities. In a banquetted room as cozy and subdued as any midtown brasserie, owners Ramesh and Kedar Shah put forward highlights of the subcontinent, from Punjabi tandoori to Kerala-style fish curries. And when it comes to cocktails and appetizers, they achieve some striking flavors: the Yuva Masti, a mix of mango, vodka and Cointreau, stints neither on fruit nor on punch; a creamy-yet-crunchy crab cake sits on a bed of baby mung-bean salad; yogurt-slathered tandoori lamb chops are tender beyond imagination. Main courses, alas, fail to surprise—on this frontier, a curry is a curry is a curry. But with service this warm, earth tones so soothing, and cocktails so deftly mixed, you may find yourself hoping ambition is contagious.Recommended Dishes
Golu crabs, $11; samundri bhent, $12; rack of lamb, $32