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“Consistently good food and attentive service; a hidden gem.”

Indigo Indian Bistro
Ranked #4,120 of 13,684 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Indian
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
New York
Level Contributor
218 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“Consistently good food and attentive service; a hidden gem.”
Reviewed July 8, 2012

I've just returned from Indigo this hot weekend evening, having returned there with a friend who has also eaten here several times, the first of which involved a group of us finding this place together, by chance, while walking about the Upper West Side (Columbus Avenue from 72nd to 79th Street/American Museum of Natural History, a sort of 'restaurant row' popular in summer.)

The restaurant entrance is just a small doorway/store front, and while it looks like there are only a handful of tables there is an 'upstairs' as well; yet the whole restaurant feels 'cozy' in its diminutive size and virtually one waiter/server per table. Attentive is an understatement. A hot day in the 90's (F) to start, we ate spicy food and I had barely to set down the water when it was instantly refilled. Some may think it *too* attentive, but they never rushed us, were very polite, and as usual there were some empty tables, so no need to rush or anything... I think local and occasional New Yorkers know of this place by chance (nice location) or word of mouth, mostly. It's small. The staff here, who must see every sort of person on earth, are very eager to please, whether responding quickly (for New Yorkers!) or allowing time but being there instantly for a refill of water, bread, rice, whatever. So I've nothing negative to say about chef, service, or location. Don't come here for glitz or live music (or super-high prices), but you can find that nearby too, in NY. Any nationality. My take: this is consistent, good and authentic Indian cooking, with a family feel, well done basics, some nice flavors in the various condiments and sauces, which nicely complemented the entrees and appetizers.

I honestly don't think this place is well known even within the neighborhood (with its scores of restaurants, some big & glitzy, and many tourists in the summer), but like myself and some friends who live nearby, we will seek it out if in the mood for basic Indian cuisine, done well, and a short walk from either the subway stop, bus stop, or our front door. (They have an online takeout service too!) Low key and yet cozy, attentive. Good to great food. Modest priced (esp. for Manhattan), they serve lunch and dinner, don't know much more than I've said. A little gem nestled in the West 70's, on Columbus Avenue. (And if they're crowded or someone doesn't like Indian, well, this is in the midst of a great many restaurants of all types, so there's lots of choice, walk on!) This place has been very consistent and a favorite among several of my friends - until now, anyway, a "secret". :-) Not for glamour or 5-star international culinary awards for unique dishes, but for low-key reliable "I could go for some Indian food" in this neck of the woods it's a go-to for some very-locals for at least 3-4 years now, and really a nice walk to or from on a sunny day or at sunset over the Museum. Nice neighborhood (just north of the restaurant, if you turn right as you leave it and walk for about 5 minutes, past a park and then the Museum and the Planetarium, etc. ). And if you're a tourist or out-of-town biz person in a hotel, it's simple to get to in about 15 minutes from midtown chaos or the high prices for mediocre food in the hotels. :-) (I travel too.)

While one review I've seen expressed extreme disappointment (comparing it to British renditions?!) , I can't imagine why, truly. As my companion said (stolen for the review title), "The chef really knows what he's doing. The food is always good, consistently." If you want it hotter, milder, thinner, thicker, or 'authentic', whatever, *ask*! It's New York! They want to please.

As to this (or any) chef capturing all the subtleties of Indian cuisine generally - those seeking it probably already have an idea - Typical dishes include bhuna with yoghurt, saag (spicy spinach), breads (some puffy) like naan and pakora, Marsalas and curries. It can get spicy, very spicy if truly authentic, so if spice is an issue, with Indian cuisine always ask about the level of hot. One of my "gold standards" for assessing Indian restaurants is the saag paneer (spicy spinach with cheese) and 'lamb saag" which is sliced lamb with the spicy spinach. I must say they really do it just perfect (to my taste), having just had it there a 2nd or 3rd time. A friend enjoys dipping the Indian breads in the saag sauce, it's so pungent and yet zingy too.

Tonight we ordered two prix fixe dinners (With tax and tip it came out to $25 each). Included, in addition to that amazingly attentive service, as part of the prix fixe offerings was a main course, appetizer and choice of bread.We ordered the lamb saag and Chicken Kurma as our two main courses. I've described the lamb already (delicious!), mildly but pungently spicy, with the sauce so good we ended up dipping our mountain of breads into it. (Mm) Our appetizers were a very pungent and well-prepared grilled lamb satay. We got - of the 3 choices for bread with the price fixe dinner - a delicious onion bread and a garlic naan, fresh and crusty but chewy with a rim like just-out-of the oven pizza, or in this case coming from the tandoori oven. The Chicken Kurma was equally delicious, and completely unlike the (one) review saying the sauces were all the same (never ever our experience here!), this sauce was yellow and creamy (as opposed to deep brown, and tangy) and a completely different, equally savory flavor.

They also serve drinks (alcoholic) as well as traditional beverages like Lassi (yoghurt), various soups and salads and desserts, and entrees including various seafood, meat and vegetarian curries and Koftas, Masala, Vindaloo, and Tandoori, and many varieties of chicken dishes (with mango, Jalferezi, etc.) Like our large group the first time we found this place by chance, it's a menu that offers something for just about anyone who has a taste for Indian cuisine, generally.

The restaurant is a few blocks south of the American Museum of Natural History, and a short walk after a meal here is very pretty, especially at day's end or later (the air in NY is hot & humid during the day, most summers). It's air conditioned, tiny/cozy, open late, and always welcoming, so I thought it worthwhile to share. It might not be as elegant as some tourists or NY'ers would like (as it's a small place, simple but comfortable.) But we sat near the window and watched New York go by, in between bites and exclamations of "mm, this is tasty!". This was the first time I tried the prix fixe dinner, and was really delighted.
We left stuffed and happy that we (again) decided to head here. Never yet disappointed.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank drmikenyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    1
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Really disappointing”
Reviewed June 13, 2012

We regularly eat in Indian restaurants in the UK and although I wouldn't say we are experts we do appreciate good food. However, as we have said in the title, this was a really disappointing meal. We had 3 different main courses with each of them quite different-a biryani, a korma and a tikka masala however all three dishes seemed to have the same basic sauce. The korma which should be creamy and mild was in fact spicy and hot-just like the tikka masala and also like the sauce that was on what was supposed to be a biryani.
The naan bread was the only nice thing about the meal.
We would definitely try somewhere else next time.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank j00lz12366
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
78 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Great service, amazing food”
Reviewed May 31, 2012

We really enjoyed eating here. Each course arrived at the perfect time so we never felt stuffed. All of the staff worked together on every table which lead to very quick and friendly service.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank JennaMarie360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterrey, Mexico
Level Contributor
457 reviews
268 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Very good // Muy bueno”
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Very nice, delicate and varied Indian buffet at very nice prices // Buffet de comida india, variado y rico a muy buenos precios

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Fevigo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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