The team that created the brilliant and refined tasting menu at Dévi that quickly became a smash hit is back, having bought out the boss. Faces you’ll remember tend the floor. Chef-author Suvir Saran (a friend and frequent eating companion) and coexecutive chef Hemant Mathur have put together a marvelous new $45 tasting menu for penny pinchers like me in addition to the original feast, now $65, that thrilled critics and, frankly, left some of us barely able to move. Such are the joys of excess. Before disappearing two weeks ago on a publicity tour, Suvir added buttermilk-brined fried chicken from the new cookbook American Masala to the menu options. It’s not easy to choose. Shall it be grilled scallops with Manchurian cauliflower and spicy bitter-orange marmalade, or the lamb-stuffed tandoori chicken, or spicy mushroom toasts? Since we are four, we can share and sample everything. I don’t recall ever seeing larger prawns than these luscious monsters from the tandoor oven. Unlike the celebrated five-course tasting (prep by skipping lunch), for which you get one velvety lamb chop or venison at the end, thrifty and cautious eaters on the discount menu get three chops. I’m not sure how the house makes that math work, but I like it. When dessert comes, hope you can face it cheerfully without groaning: crispy saffron bread pudding with cardamom cream, or cashew-nut kulfi with falooda (voluptuous Indian noodles). The foodie buzz has begun again.
8 E. 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-691-1300