Friday, October 28, 2011

Indian-Bangladeshi and All Lit Up

Inside Milon, Indian-Bangladeshi restaurant New York City.
Walking down Curry Row on East 6th St. of New York (between 1st and 2nd Avenues) on a recent evening, no less than a dozen people beckoned me inside, each promising their Indian restaurant was better than the other 22 Indian establishments that stretch down this block and around the corner on 1st Ave. 

I don’t remember why we started coming to this one particular curry house, but I think a friend of my brother’s from law school had insisted the restaurant up the stairs and to the left at the corner of First Avenue was a stand out in the sea of masala sauce.  And yes, it is the one dripping in Christmas lights. 

You cannot help but have a good time at Milon, a restaurant where you must duck to get in under a couple thousand hanging Christmas, chili pepper, and now for Halloween, pumpkin lights.  And nearly every night- at least every time that I have been there- the main lights will dim at some point, raucous Indian music turned up, and the staff will dance and sing Happy Birthday to some patron for whom it is almost certainly not their birthday.

Most importantly the food is cheap and delicious.  Lamb curries come simmering on hot platters.  Chicken jous is bathed in a rich sauce of almonds and cream.  Parathas, dripping with ghee and stuffed with chopped garlic, arrive fresh and steaming off the griddle.

Like many on curry row, Milon does not have a liquor license.  Luckily the Indian market, down the stairs and to the right, has stocked an increasingly better selection of beer over the years. Everything from requisite Taj to Japanese Hitachino Red Rice Ale is available to quench your thirst from all that Indian-Bangladeshi spice. 

And even if you go all out on beer like we did on a recent night indulging in some large format German and Belgian selections, the total price of dinner plus drinks (from the liquor store) is unlikely to set you back more than $50 per couple.  I don’t know about you, but I have yet to find many places in New York where you can eat like a Raj and drink like a Trappist monk for the cost of a one-way cab to JFK.  And don’t forget the Christmas lights. 

Amy Powell is a food and travel writer based in New York City. She is a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and the French Culinary Institute. Follow her on Twitter @amymariepowell

No comments:

Post a Comment