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Just Opened, Beechmont’s Indian Bistro
8460 Beechmont Ave | 513-474-7500
I’d say Indian cuisine is more popular in Cincy than ever. With more than 30 listings there is bound to be one not far from you now. More are opening as we speak.
The newest is Anderson’s Indian Bistro.
Servicing Cherry Grove, Withamsville and Anderson this is the eastern most Indian restaurant to date.
I stopped by for the Grand Opening (go figure) to sample the flavors and feel out the vibe. Once inside I was welcomed by Dharminder, an uber-experienced Indian maitre d’ (if you will) that I am quite familiar with and always glad to see. Good start.
He tells me sit, smiling, fills sparkling glasses with iced water. It’s lunch buffet hours but he insists we must have fresh nan on the table, immediately. We are enthusiastically encouraged to grab a plate and fill up on any and all of the enticingly aromatic Indian dishes in the steamer, but I’m not having it.
The fresh fired nan yes, it’s refreshing to see honest hospitality, and I do love nan straight out of the tandoori. The buffet, not today. Normally, I’d already have a plate in hand and be diggin in before Dharminder could get my water. I crave a good Indian buffet often. I always leave satisfied and it’s a great deal price wise. The Indian Bistro buffet spread looked awesome but this was a discovery mission. Price be damned.
“We have very unique Chef Specials... Not like anything you’ve tried... very special” says Dharminder. “What are your suggestions my friend?” I ask. “We have several Chef specialties... Ultimate Bistro Special ($15.99), Bistro Paneer Special ($10.99), Bistro Chicken Special ($12.99) and Bistro Sheekh Kebab Special ($13.99), all cooked in a thick tomato, onion and butter sauce. All four dishes have a subtle savory signature Indian Bistro sauce... very good, very different...” I cut Dharminder off, “You choose, I said. “He smiled and returned with the smoking hot nan. “For you, I order the Ultimate Bistro Special, chicken and lamb, you’ll love it, you’ll see.”
Well, here’s what my Ultimate Bistro Special looked like when it hit the table (top left), and brother it didn’t last long. Watching lunch diners pleasure themselves with plate after plate of aloo saag, curries, samosas, tandoori, breads and rice had my lips smackin’ like a dog in a peanut butter factory. I tore straight into my Ultimate Bistro ravenously.
Then, after the first few bites, I slowed down. I found that subtleness Dharminder was referring too. The sauce appears much like any other, a seven second savor on the tongue reveals a delicate dance of spices and pureed vegetables, light & vibrant, singing with freshness. Tender lamb kebabs and white meat chicken pieces, Basmati rice (a half forkful with every bite) and that savory sauce shining bright. Mop every speck up with the nan.
My partner in crime’s dish was equally good in it’s own merit. Bistro Paneer Special sounds simple. This time, large chunks of Paneer (fresh Indian cheese) stood in for the chicken and lamb in my dish, same sublime sauce. You could put this sauce over a boiled JTM and sell the hell out of it. Sauté paneer chucks until they’re hot, sizzling and sauce coated and you won’t regret skipping the buffet. It was a soul satisfying meal, and a filling one too. Even though I ate a few large forkfuls myself, (several times) my companion left stuffed barely finishing it all. Even a lone piece of pretty nan was left uneaten in the basket. Who needs a buffet?
Who needs a buffet? Well, people eating lunch on the cheap without resorting to that dreadful drive thru line (it’s just not even food people). At 7 bucks, where else can you get a good, wholesome Indian buffet for less this side of Hyde Park?... OK, Besides Royal Taj. That’s it, just the two then.
Indian Bistro has the goods, they have the good lunch buffet, they have the good special sauces that will make even a seasoned Indian foodie say Hmm? Hmm! They have the place looking good all shiny and new, ready to dish it up for dine in or to go. They even have coupons too (guide section-cincyvibe.com and also a CV cell-pon participant, as well as theindianbistro.com).
Anderson is lucky to now have two good Indian eateries. Much of the east has none at all! Milford, Eastgate and Loveland are all Indian-less, forget about anything east of there. Ask folks out farther about where to find good Indian, they’ll show you arrow heads and point to a soybean field. Seriously.
I guess the west (of the eastside) is the best place to be when a can’t-think-straight-must-have-masala-now toe curling craving kicks in huh? Anderson Bastards, Royal Taj and Indian Bistro, they’re hoggin’ it all! Oh well, Milford still has the best Asian (Tongs Thai) and Easgate still has the best BBQ (Woe is Me) and Loveland still has the best cantina (El Picante). It goes on and on. Not to mention, if you are all the way up in Loveland looking for Indian you’d might as well go on up to Blue Ash (Azad India) Still, we all need good Indian. Even on the eastside. Now that Anderson has two good joints, Milford and/or Eastgate must have at least one soon. If for nothing else than to save face, any takers? Any at all?
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