Last night, while others were enjoying corned beef and cabbage with green beer, we broke with tradition in a big way.
We dined at Vermillion in midtown Manhattan. The soaring, bi-level space is the New York branch of the Chicago Vermillion established by Rohini Dey, a former international banker and McKinsey consultant.
Serving a unique Indian-Latin fusion menu, the flavors and presentation are as stylish as Ms. Dey herself. First, the cuisine:
In a complete relaunch of the menu, Ms. Dey’s concept to fuse the two colorful cuisines has been interpreted by co-executive chefs Anup Patwal and Aseema Mamaji from India, and sous chef Javier Alvarez from Latin America. The gifted young team brings verve, energy and an elegant touch to the food.
Beyond the flavorful, there’s a “wow” experience in the presentation. Thought has been given to turning each dish into culinary art; whether it’s a specially crafted chrome rack from which four different types of kabobs hang in alluring fashion, or a slice of tree trunk used as a charger.
Caldeirada de peixe, a traditional Brazalian seafood stew accented with Indian spices and a side of coconut rice. Photo courtesy Vermillion Restaurant.
Absolutely everything demands to be consumed. Even garnishes of pickled red onion or green chile are exciting. We didn’t leave a scrap on the plate!
The seasonings are spectacular. There’s just enough of the custom-blended spices and heat to blend perfectly, appropriately understated without providing a punch not wanted in fine dining. It’s not often that we encounter such finesse with spices. Kudos to the chefs!
In addition to fusion dishes, there’s a menu of classic Indian entrées. There is nothing we don’t want to try, and we can’t wait to go back.
While dinner can cost what you’d expect for such fine cuisine, lunch is quite affordable: two courses for $20 or three courses for $24.
Wine tip: The Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling, made with grapes from Washington’s Columbia Valley, is perfect with the cuisine. Off-dry, with notes of sweet lime, peach and subtle minerality, it is a charming complement to the spice and heat.
There’s a comfortable cocktail lounge downstairs and a private dining room upstairs, on the main dining floor. The restaurant is at 480 Lexington Avenue at 46th Street. Visit the company website or call for reservations: 212-871-6600.
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