There's no question that there is an infinite amount of fusion eateries all over Manhattan, but few create such a heavenly blend as Vermilion (on the northwest corner of 46th and Lexington) does with Indian and Latin America cuisine. I have to be honest and say that chef/owner Rohini Dey leans a little heavier on Indian, but the results are always magical. How did she decide on creating a restaurant with this seemingly odd cuisine fusion? She says that her decision was based on history: "The Indian-Latin concept of Vermilion is also based on deep historical cross-flows and culinary influences of the Persians, Moors, Spanish, Portuguese, and waves of direct migration. Vermilion’s melding draws heavily from the tropical and geographical overlap of ingredients, herbs and spices across India, Spain & Latin America -- such as coconut, tamarind, mango, lychee, papaya, beans, rice, guava, plantain, cilantro, lime, corn, rice, beans and chickpeas, saffron -- all utilized extensively in both cuisines."
Ms. Dey and her co-exec chefs Anup and Aseema (along with sous chef Javier) recently changed the menu after 11 years but the most famous dishes including their legendary Tandoori flank steak made the cut. Dey actually has had a strictly financial career (including stints with The World Bank and McKinsey) in the past but she hit gold with her first endeavor in the food biz. Special price fixe and vegan dinners are offered and the portions are huge. (Don't be ashamed to go home with a doggy bag of all the new dishes you fall in love with Vermilion!)
|Spinach Saag Arepa|
|Mysore Lamb Chops|
|Tamarind Pork Bun Bifanas|
Would I go back to Vermilion? Yes--in a New York minute. There are a lot of unique twists and turns to the cuisine here and the quality gets an A+ rating. The menu is diversified and there's nothing else like it in town. The staff is attentive, affable and aims to please and they are happy to take dietary restrictions into consideration and custom tailor dishes for guests.
480 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Cuisine: Indian and Latin fusion