An upscale Indian restaurant from a prolific chef who’s worked in Mumbai, London, and San Francisco may be opening in the East Village. Chef Sujan Sarkar — who uses molecular gastronomy and calls his food “progressive Indian cuisine” — has applied for a liquor license for a new restaurant at 11 East 1st St., between Bowery and Second Avenue. As EV Grieve notes, it’s the big former space of L’Apicio in luxury apartment building Avalon Bowery Place.
Sarkar recently made his U.S. debut in San Francisco with Rooh, a highly anticipated modern Indian restaurant that just opened last month. According to his liquor license application, the New York restaurant will be very similar. The chef has training in molecular gastronomy and uses it in the menu at his West Coast restaurant, which offers both a tasting menu and an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner.
At Rooh, a la carte small plates cost under $20 each, with a menu that includes dishes like an oyster with pink guava and cili granita, lemon foam, and pickled turnip; a liquid foie gras pate with chicken liver masala fry, pickled shallot, and taftan bread; and a tuna dish with avocado, tamarind gel, puffed black rice, baby radish, and togarashi — the Japanese spice mixture. Entree dishes include beef short ribs curry with bone marrow crumble and a red snapper cooked in a banana leaf.
The to-be-named New York restaurant from Sarkar will seat nearly 170 people, including an indoor dining room, a 15-foot bar, a sidewalk cafe, and a courtyard. Rooh also has an expansive cocktail menu based on ayurveda, so it won’t be a surprise if creative beverages are a big part of a New York restaurant as well.
It’s still too early to get a gauge on the reception to Rooh in San Francisco. In the last year, New York has been fairly welcoming to the new crop of modern or upscale Indian restaurants that have popped up in the last year. Indian Accent in Midtown received two stars from the Times and two stars from Eater’s own critic Ryan Sutton. Paowalla and Pondicheri have also been well-received.
Eater has reached out to Sarkar for more details and will update with further details.