Chef Sujan Sarkar has spent his career pushing the boundaries of Indian cuisine with his modernist sensibility. He is now opening a restaurant in Chicago where his Indian cuisine blends with classic French technique.
Indiane will offer a vegetarian menu at $80 and another at $90 for the omnivores among us. In between you will find Indian dishes prepared with unusual ingredients and using European techniques, Sarkar Told Eater Chicago.
“I want it to be fun, I want to be interactive,” he said. “It’s not where you’re just going to sit down and go home. It will be more! It should be fun, it should be light and airy.
A few standout dishes that showcase Sarkar’s culinary philosophy? Galauti, a North Indian kebab typically made with ground lamb, uses foie gras and chicken liver instead. The lamb burrah, which is marinated in a batter made from hemp seeds and pine nuts, is cooked on a wood-fired grill and then served on a personal-sized tabletop brass grill. There’s also the vada (essentially a lentil fritter) served with Golden Osetra caviar and a lobster bisi bele bath, made with rice, lentils and more than 30 other ingredients.
During the first weeks of service, Indienne will only focus on tasting menus. But it will eventually expand to a la carte offerings, like duck keema and octopus with miso, fennel and fermented Cape gooseberry. Dessert follows the same mix of cuisines, with jamun and plum sorbet as well as besan barfi (creamy chocolate, pistachio financier, kumquat chutney and milk ice cream).
Indiana’s cocktail offering will include creative drinks such as Kolkata (Indian single malt scotch, ginger, roasted mango and raspberry chaat masala) and Mumbai (rum-based clarified milk punch, infused with vinegar fruit and strawberry). And the restaurant will also offer a $60 wine pairing with the tasting menus.
Indian takes over the space once occupied by Graham Elliot, who at one time held two Michelin stars. Sarkar has that legacy to uphold, although he’s not focused on those kinds of accolades, at least not yet. “If you open a restaurant, it has to be for the right reasons,” he told Eater.
Stars and good reviews would then be just an added bonus.
indianwhich opens today, will serve dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
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