Friday, January 13, 2012

Indique

As noted by the Washington Post, Indique is a marriage of "India" with "unique" and this is what you get: "a restaurant eager to satisfy its customers with gently priced small plates, beautiful arrangements and service that is anything but ordinary." The menu features some traditional Indian dishes and others with a modern twist as Indique explores the distinctive regional cuisines of the Indian subcontinent. Small plates, seafood, regional specialties, and vegetarian dishes are prominently featured. Indique offers a full bar, signature cocktails, and wine list. Closest Metro is Cleveland Park.

For our first Restaurant Week choice this winter, we hiked up to Cleveland Park on this chilly evening and I was looking forward to warm Indian food.  The dining room downstairs was empty, so we were a little skeptical at first, but then the hostess escorted us upstairs where it was much warmer and already filled with many diners.  Dimly lit by a large chandelier, the interior is modest yet tries to appeal to the romantic senses.

Kamasutra
We quickly perused the expansive RW menu that featured both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.  It was nice to hear that you could mix-and-match as you pleased from either menu.  Keith and I selected each of our courses and also ordered one of their cocktails.  I ordered the Kamasutra - made with Absolut vodka, apricot brandy, and pineapple juice.  Keith ordered the Ginger Passion - made with Absolut Wild Tea vodka, fresh ginger, elderflower, and lychee juice.  My drink was sweet but not too strong and a nice match for the spicy food that was to follow.

We noticed the traditional sauces on our table, but had no naan bread yet, so when our appetizer courses arrived, we asked for the naan to be brought out.  I think they planned to serve it with the main course, but I am glad we asked for it earlier.  The naan was garlicky and just what I needed to soak up the spicy tomato sauce that covered my seafood dish.  The seafood itself was fresh - the scallops were sweet and the shrimp tender.  Some pieces of the calamari were a little chewy, but all in all a nice dish and different from anything I've had before.  Keith found his pork belly to be only so-so, but enjoyed the spice seasonings.  By this time, the dining room upstairs was completely packed and starting to get loud from all the chatter.  Our main courses were presented in generous portions with rice, a nice mushroom-type gravy, and cucumber raita.  My chicken tikka was super tender and just fell apart with my fork.  The sauce was very mild, which was fine for me, but I think others would probably prefer it a little more spicy.  Keith's lamb chops were not that good - they came with 3 different types of rice and some vegetables on the side.  His dish was seasoned with curry, but not spicy enough and the lamb needed to be seared.  I was quite full by now from all the rice, but waited for my dessert.  Although presented prettily, I found the mango flavor in the flan to be lacking.  Good thing it came with a mango ice cream to add that citric punch.  Keith, on the other hand, devoured his dessert.  The gulab jamun was a little ball of textured milk solids with a lovely honey sauce that was very reminiscent of the desserts in Greece.

Overall, the food was slightly above average, but I appreciated the different techniques and ingredients showcased.  The service and atmosphere were great - very warm and inviting.  The location could not be better as it is directly off the metro exit.  Make easy reservations to Indique on CityEats

Total Rating: 3.875
Food: 3.5, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 5, Accessibility: 5

What I ate:
Garlic Naan
with traditional sauces

Seafood Varuval
calamari, shrimp and scallops cooked with onion, tomatoes and spices

Chicken Tikka Makhani
marinated boneless pieces of chicken cooked in tandoor
and finished with a flavorful tomato based gravy

Mango Cheese Flan
with raspberry and mango coulis, served with mango ice cream

Plus Keith ate:

Pork Belly a la Indique
braised with an assortment of spices like fennel, mustard, 
curry leaves, hot chili and vinegar served with granny smith apples

Tandoori Lamb Chops
seasoned with ginger, garlic and spices

Gulab Jamun a la Indique
specialty prepared from milk solids & honey served with vanilla ice cream


 Indique on Urbanspoon

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