Our culinary adventures keep bringing us back to Midtown East as of late! We recently profiled Foxy John’s for their super chill and delicious vibes, and now have headed a couple of blocks down to experience the euphoria that is Nirvana. Nirvana is located right outside Grand Central on Lexington Avenue between 40th and 39th street, and is the epitome of Indian cuisine personified.
Nirvana is a two-level restaurant that has a warm ambiance and is full of rich and beautiful colors. The second level, where myself and my guest sat, was adorned with a beautiful red color that brings so much life into the room and makes for such an intimate experience.
They have also brought a big name as their executive chef, as Nirvana’s culinary operations are now run by Michelin-starred chef Peter Beck. Peter’s other accolades include the critically acclaimed Raasa and Benares, the latter of which I stopped by months ago and absolutely fell in love with.
This location bills itself as “Indian Culinary Bliss” and rightfully so. The tasting menu they set us up with was absolutely superb in each dish that they executed. I have reviewed several Indian restaurants over the past couple of years, and this one sticks out more than the others for the amount of flavor they were able to extract out of everything we tried. It was superb and simply delicious.
Some of the dishes that are easy to highlight include their Garlic Naan, which consists of bread with garlic and cilantro. Yes, it’s an easier one but it tastes just so darn good. I’m a big rice person, and I always find that Indian cuisine does a great job in this grainy wonderment, so their Chicken Biryani was amazing. This consists of a flavored combination of meat and basmati rice steamed together in aromatic herbs and spices. It will taste even better once we start getting colder weather as it will heat you up instantly.
On the seafood side, I would recommend going with their Kesamarvai, which are aromatic mussels with tomato, garlic, ginger, madras curry powder. I think mussels can be dressed up in so many different types of ways in terns of liquids and spices, and this one did them justice. Also their Shrimp Bhuna which are Tiger shrimp stir fry with a mixture of whole spices and herbs are yummy as well. I’m a sucker for a good piece of shrimp, and once again, justice is served.
If all else fails (it won’t), try their Tandoori Chicken. Classic, Indian cuisine with a red masala marinade. Trust me, it’s good. Finger licking good. Overall, Nirvana did a fantastic job with decor, food, service and more, and this is definitely one place you should be stopping by this week and beyond.
For more information on Nirvana, please check out their official website.