- Chennai Garden
129 East 27th Street, 212-689-1999
You’ve had one kosher Indian vegetarian buffet, you’ve had ’em all, right? Not exactly. What elevates Chennai Garden above the entrenched Curry Hill competition is its relatively spiffy setting and the freshness, flavor, and variety of the unlimited $5.95 spread. You will most likely fill every inch of your colorful oversize plate—twice, even thrice if you like—with the daily dal, subtly spiced vegetable curry, saffron-hued cabbage, spice-scented rices, oily, pliable chapati, and thick utthappam pancakes—and then go back for the silky, floral-scented puddings for dessert. Amid the squadron of chutneys, dabble with the sweet date, the creamy coconut, and the spicy cilantro, and if you underestimate the firepower of the spicy vegetable soup called sambar, cool the burn with tangy raita. Not that you’ll have room, but you may even want to spring for an à la carte dosa from one of the best selections in town.
Best Vegetarian Feast
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).