Sunday, September 28, 2008

Seva, you complete me

Astute readers of this blog (hello!) might recognize these pappadum crackers, so gracefully tilted on the plate. Yes, TL and I were at Seva again, this time for lunch the day before I flew out to Fort Collins. I don't think either of us meant to eat at a restaurant we had gone to only a few weeks earlier, but I wanted a really good meal and we knew Seva would satisfy.
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Once again we took advantage of the lunch specials, but added on two appetizers. On the left is a shrimp dish—a special that day—which consisted of shrimp, onions, and peppers cooked in a sweet and tangy sauce, and on the right are masala crab cakes, described as "lump meat, garam masala, mint, lemon-cilantro dip." The filling of the cakes was a little mushy and seemed more like krab than crab, but like the "bok choy crispy curls" we had previous, they were perfectly fried.

The Mulligatawny soup seemed slightly different on this visit—a little less creamy, a little more chunky maybe—but the flavor was still good. And I took a sip of TL's mango lassi (top photo) and it was sweet and thick and mango-ey. Good stuff.
For my entree I went with the chicken saag ("pureed spinach, peppercorns, onion, ginger, garlic, tomato"), which had the same lightness and good flavor as the korma and tikka masala we'd eaten last time, but which was also much spicier than I expected.
Same went for TL's chicken vindaloo (on the menu as "fiery sauce, dried red chilies, potato, tamarind, vinegar"—I guess "fiery" should have tipped us off). Immediately once the owner noticed us sweating over our curries he came over with an offer to replace both with new, less spicy versions, a surprising gesture that I really appreciated. We didn't take him up on it, as we were enjoying the flavor; I just asked for some raita to mellow out the heat and he came back with a good bowlful, which made my eyes light up. That stuff is delish.

Later, as the owner cleared our table he commented that before we had chosen the two most mild curries and now we had chosen the two spiciest, and that next time he will be sure to turn the heat down a little. He even seemed apologetic, like he should have realized our preferences somehow. He was just so nice, and I was impressed that he had not only recognized us but remembered what we'd ordered, too. And when I unpacked our leftovers later, I discovered he had thrown in an extra container of raita.

So once more: I love Seva. You can bet I'll be heading there once I'm in NYC again.

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