Tantric offers Theater District slice of Indian spice
By Sarah Andrekus
With a chic and artsy atmosphere, Tantric truly fits into the bustling Theater District that surrounds this Indian bistro. The warm aesthetic tones of the restaurant along with an eclectic music selection make this a great spot to relax and enjoy fine Indian cuisine.
The extensive menu covers a wide variety of lamb, chicken, seafood and purely vegetarian options. My dining party opted to start off with the vegetarian samosas ($4.95) and the minced lamb samosas ($5.95). The vegetarian version of these crisp, stuffed, Indian turnovers consisted of spiced potatoes and green peas, while the more meat-friendly edition substituted minced lamb for the potato. The appetizers were served with both tamarind and mint chutney sauces. While the samosas were a rather dry, the sauces were excellent. I had hoped for more spice and flavoring in the samosas, but they were mild and even tended toward blandness.
We tried a variety of different entrées but the clear favorite was the butter chicken ($16.95). This dish is the Delhi edition of the famous chicken tikka masala, which consists of chicken breasts immersed in a scrumptious tomato-based sauce that mixes with ginger, garlic and yogurt. Ordering a side of garlic naan ($3.95) — tasty flatbread that can be flavored with a variety of seasonings — to dip into the remaining sauces of these dishes is a must!
Another dish that caught my attention was the chicken chettinad ($15.95), which is tossed with black peppercorns, tamarind, curry leaves, red chilies, mustard seeds, ginger and garlic. This tangy variety of spices leaves an impression on your taste buds. With every entrée, diners are given the option of ordering the dish mild, medium or spicy. For those seasoned in spicy foods, the medium choice is generally manageable and gives a nice kick to the dishes. Although the chicken chettinad was ordered at the same level as some of the other dishes, it definitely was the most spicy and memorable of our spread.
Overall, the dining experience at Tantric offered decent food, yet failed to leave a huge impression on our party. If you are looking for tasty Indian food, this restaurant does provide variety of options, but the steepness of the price does not match the “wow” factor of the food. I enjoyed my experience but would be inclined to investigate other Indian options before returning to this particular spot. Its easy accessibility and efficiency make it the ideal location to drop in if you are looking for a quick and enjoyable meal.
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