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Maybe Bollywood has gone to her head. Over the years, Indian-cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey’s Dawat has changed from standard-setting fine-Indian dining to a disappointing excursion into cook-by-numbers, tamped-down takes on Indian classics. Even the chef’s tasting menu is an insipid mess of gummy samosas, gamey lamb, pasty poori and bland vegetables served by a rushed waitstaff. The only memorable parts of the meal are a tender lamb chop starter, nicely charred and with just the right hint of heat, and the woman offering tarot-car readings at a corner table—if only she had read our future meal before we shelled out $75/head. Please Madhur, get back to the kitchen (or teach your chefs your recipes): Bollywood doesn’t need another star, but Dawat still needs you.
Venue name: Dawat
Address: 210 E 58th St
New York
Cross street: between Second and Third Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 11:30am–3pm, 5:30–11pm; Sun 5:30–11pm
Transport: Subway: N, R, W to Lexington Ave–59th St; 4, 5, 6 to 59th St
Price: Average main course: $20. AmEx, DC, MC, V
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