Full-flavored Feast

Savory, aromatic cuisine at the Kingston Indian Restaurant and Grill brings an exotic flair to the city’s historic district


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chicken tikka masalaEast Meets West: Chicken Tikka Masala — chicken roasted in a tandoor and served with a creamy red sauce — is one of the popular dishes spicing things up at a new Indian restaurant in Kingston

Photographs by Jennifer May

“How was it?” we asked a couple leaving the Kingston Indian Restaurant and Grill just as we were going in. “Good, good! Very fresh,” they replied. Fresh is a telling comment when applied to Indian restaurant dishes, many of which can survive advance preparation or a sojourn on the steam table without suffering, but are even more enjoyable when “fresh” is part of the equation.

The Kingston Indian Restaurant and Grill, which opened in late autumn, is a sibling of the six-year-old New Paltz Indian Restaurant and the late-lamented Pine Hill Indian Restaurant (the owners clearly like to get straight to the point with names). This newcomer is housed on a corner in Kingston’s historic Uptown District in a spot that was occupied by a Chinese joint for as long as anyone can remember.

The big, madeover space has none of the glitzy, clichéd Bollywood trappings. Instead, it’s all blonde wood flooring, cream walls above wood wainscot, and tables that are so well spaced it feels a little spare, even when the room is full. Large windows on two sides are softened by gauzy curtains, gathered to the side. But they and the few potted plants in a column down the center of the room aren’t quite equal to the task of warming the place up. It’s calm and pleasant, though, with low lights, and soft, flute-y Indian music drifting through the air. Watching the very polite, accommodating staff march back and forth across the expanse of floor to the kitchen, you figure they must walk 10 miles a day.

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