Critically-beloved Houston chef Anita Jaisinghani's New York outpost of Pondicheri launches dinner tonight, the beginning of a full-service experience at the casual restaurant. The chef — known for her take on regional Indian fare — opened the restaurant at 15 West 27th St. with just breakfast and lunch last month, serving masala-laced eggs and chai-spiced pastries. Dinner is "totally different," with a host, table service, and a different menu, says Ajna Jai, Jaisinghani's daughter and manager of the restaurant.
Expect appetizers like red beet soup with coconut, ginger, and mustard seeds; a Burmese-inspired shrimp rangoon; and several larger, cast iron skillet shareable dishes like roghan josh lamb, a dish with lamb shanks and butternut squash in a stew. It's also the launch of Jaisinghani's popular signature thalis, which each feature tastings of a variety of dishes. Pondicheri's Meatless Mondays will continue at dinner, as well. The vegetarian-only menu on Mondays include peanut noodles, stuffed bitter melon, and vegetable biryani. Check out the space and full menu below, and if you stop by, let us know what you think.