Last night, we had dinner with friends with whom we often wind up going to Indian restaurants. Our friend mentioned that she’d seen a review of Pondicheri in the New York Times and thought we should try it. Pete Wells is right. Pondicheri is terrific and in a quirky way.

Our server began by telling us that she’s a bartender most nights but one night/week she works on the floor. She knows how things are made. She walked us through what we wanted to know about the foods at Pondicheri in a way we’ve never been walked through the philosophy of a restaurant before. Dinner was terrific.

The physicality of the restaurant has been described as “hip.” As we left, we looked at the ceiling and saw that the electrical lines were part of the décor. Our dining companion was Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she said that while she is programmed to hate the design, it actually works. We agreed that it’s more for our children than for us, but the restaurant was surely for us.

Clearly, we’re not going to Pondicheri for breakfast or even lunch but we’ll be back for dinner. Searching for a simile, “If PJ Clarke’s served Indian food, it would be Pondicheri.”

Doug Anderson


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