For a taste of India, and a taste of history, hit up the new bistro, The Drunken Munkey, in the West Village. With a slightly different menu than its sister restaurant on the Upper East Side, warm staff members, and a historical take on Indian food, it’s like nowhere else in the city.
Next stop: All the apps. Crispy Okra was demolished faster than french fries, and the Chili Cheese Toast was like heartwarming garlic bread on the menu of any fabulous Italian restaurant. These were all choices that were undeniably different, yet vaguely familiar. Arun told us that the Chili Cheese Toast is something you would get at a friend’s house as an afternoon snack in Northern India.
My favorite entree was Arun’s grandmother’s Fish Curry. Her exact recipe, using monkfish, she even taste-tested the dish multiple times before it went public to ensure it tasted correct.
Another stand-out was the Railway Chicken Curry, a dish that would have been served in colonial India, served on the train cars. The dish was originally preserved with vinegar for long rides, and the seasoning would depend on your location in India. With these local flavorings, every dish would taste different.
More of what we ate:
Drunken Munkey Chicken Biryani – with a breaded topping, this is a must-try.
DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON DESSERT.
The Cricket Rum Ball is one of the best ideas on the face of the earth. “Moist rum-infused chocolate cake,” is all you need to know.
*Great deal alert: Get the dinner prix-fixe for $39. Includes an entree, side and cocktail or glass of house wine.
You’ll find The Drunken Munkey tucked away on Cornelia Street, an iconic street in the West Village. I didn’t even realize walking in that it took over the spot vacated by Mario Batali’s “Pó.” Not only that, but Al Pacino worked there back in the day as a waiter, AND it was the first Off-Broadway theater in New York City, where both Glenn Close and Meryl Streep performed for stints.