It's hard enough waiting 30 days for another issue of Soap Opera Digest (don't they know you've only got One Life To Live?!), so luckily Asha Gomez is heeding the demand for her monthly Spice Route supper club by opening Cardamom Hill today, in which she’ll serve upscale Indian in a relaxed, woodsy den with rosewood walls, a thick community table, and a canopied front bar with cut-out sections for assorted pottery.
Eats from the South Indian state of Kerala are lighter on the spice than standard Northern stuff, but still plenty heavy on flavor, as proven by highlights like coconut-brothed chicken stew w/ vattayappam ("an airy steamed cake"), and battered, mint/green chile/cilantro-seasoned goat chops they call “the predecessor” to lamb lollipops, also a remix of the Weezy song by journeyman third baseman Mike Lamb, which is just terrible.
There's also Kerala fried chicken (think Southern-style, but...Indian-ier) served w/ veggie-ghee pilau rice, bread-bowled curry shrimp, pork belly/tenderloin vindaloo, and banana leaf-roasted kingfish filet rubbed with a mild masala, something you could call Denzel until he realized King Kong ain't got sh*t on him!!
Once the pour license arrives, former Bourbon Bar 'tender (wow, that worked out nice!) Brian Stanger'll craft spice-influenced drinks (tamarind/bourbon/green chiles/lime juice cocktail, anyone?), and they'll have a dozen-plus mostly Belgian beers (Rodenbach, Duchesse De Bourgogne, Unibroue Saison...), and 120 Old/New World wines, though not "whines", because CBS says The World still Turns even if you're butt-hurt over them dropping the soap.
Photo by Chris Hornaday