Friday, May 9, 2008

Thali, too - Now OPEN!!

Ever since moving to New Haven in November, 2006, I've made a point to sample all the chat, chana masala and saag I can find from the many fabulous Indian restaurants within minutes of my apartment. I was in heaven when I discovered Thali on Orange Street. Their delectable dahl and rich and delicious chat are enough for a full meal, but they'll also accommodate us vegans with an off-menu order of coconut curry (just ask). I couldn't believe my eyes when I read recently that the owner of Thali would be opening a vegetarian-only version of the restaurant down on Broadway, tucked into that little corridor next to the Yale Bookstore. You can't see it from the street, but it's there - trust me. As of May 7, Thali, too is now Officially OPEN!! Please go and support them!

It was a warm, breezy evening last night, the perfect weather for outdoor dining. We decided to take a stroll by Thali to see if they were open and were pleased to find a gorgeous and bustling little patio set up with tables and big red umbrellas, so we happily took a cozy table for two. We started the meal with a fantastic masala dosa appetizer; eaten alone, it would have been a hearty meal. We fought each other for the last crumb, it was so yummy. The huge rolled up crepe arrives on an elegant silver tray with 3 pretty little vessels of accompanying sauces. I wasn't sure about the coconut chutney which may have been made with yogurt, but the sambal was a delicious tomato based spiced stew that was hearty and warm. There was also an accompaniment of chili oil with fried Indian spices that was hot, but not too hot. They have an interesting little concept going here: rice and noodle bar. You start with a base of either basmati rice or rice vermicelli ($5), add on some vegetables of choice ($2 each), and any of 5 sauces. We tried the Manchurian (which I'd highly recommend) which had garlic, onion, chili pepper and cilantro, that was actually more subtle and flavorful than you'd imagine, and the Sesame Peanut, which was good, however I detected no sesame or peanut and I'm wondering if I got what I ordered. Considering this was only the second night they were open, I allowed some leeway in working out the kinks. Our server was not very familiar with the menu and needed to bring the general manager over to our table to answer a few questions about dairy in dishes. He assured us there was no dairy used in the rice, noodles or the accompanying sauces. The rest of the menu is filled with creative interpretations of standard northern and southern Indian cuisine and I'm already dying to make a return visit to give them a try. They also have Take Out!! This is a fantastic little addition to New Haven's already plentiful dining scene, but it stands out for its affordability, creativity and pleasant atmosphere. I know where I'll be spending my summer...

1 comment:

Terry said...

I agree, totally. I am not a vegan, or completely vegetarian, but I try to live and eat on the healthy side. Recently, I stopped by Thali too on Broadway, and I'm loving it already.