Awadh: The Art Of Dum Pukht On The Upper West Side

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In New York City, Indian food is not hard to find. However when you want dum pukht in the city, Awadh is the go spot. I was invited to have dinner at Awadh so I decided to make it a girl's night out with some of my favorite girl squad.

The namesake of the restaurant comes for Awadh, an ancient Hindu region. The region is known for "dum pukht" the art of cooking over a slow fire with special spices. This form of cooking allows meat to cook in it's own juices. The food in the restaurant is the creation of chef/owner, Gaurav Anand, who mastered dum pukht from culinary masters in the region.

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There is an impressive cocktail and wine list at Awadh. The cocktails are inspired with Indian flavors and spices. John Slover is the consulting sommelier for the wine list. If you aren't sure what you want to drink just ask, Samson, the cool and dapper guy behind the bar. He mixes up very good drinks and makes the infused liquor at the bar that gets the senses moving and grooving.

Instead of ordering food, I opted to let the chef send out what he wanted us to try. He sent out some of the favorite's from the menu.

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I don't normally eat lamb but chef Anand wanted us to try the Galouti Kebab which is minced lamb patties with spices. The meat was tender and juicy. I have to admit that I would definitely eat this again. This dish was originally created for the royals of Awadh. Maybe I liked it because in my mind I am a princess who lives in a castle.

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For the entrees, I ate my share of the Makhawala, grilled chicken in traditional tomato sauce and Bharwan Baingan, roasted whole baby eggplant with onion tomato masala, with the Lehsuni Naan. It's naan like I've never had it before. The naan is baked in a clay oven then glazed with garlic. It was so wicked good, especially since I'm a big fan of garlic.

What's great about Awadh is that there is something for everyone, whether you are a meat eater or vegan. There doesn't seem to be a bad choice on the menu. Take a chance on something that you may not normally eat, it just might surprise.

I could go on and on about how good the food is at Awadh. I also have to mention that there is wonderful customer service at the restaurant. They know how to make their guests feel at home.

Put this restaurant on your list next time you are looking to have a night on the town. It is almost impossible to get a reservation to Awadh on the weekend if you don't do it in advance. Long story short, make a reservation.