Mint doesn’t just churn out the usual curry conventions and hope that a sitar player makes it all seem authentic. The dining room is almost spalike—a mod aqua lounge leads into a peaceful, dimly lit space lined with fuchsia and orange drum lights. Chef Gary Sikka’s food puts most local takeout places to shame, as it should; a meal costs about twice here what you pay at one of them. Chicken tikka masala, the obvious crowd-pleaser, is just that: remarkably juicy pieces of chicken in a rich, boldly spiced (but not too fiery) sauce. Layers of flavor run through every dish. The sauce on the pakku, a Sikkamese stewed-lamb entrée, is deep, dark and rich—with a kick that calls for at least three glasses of water.
150 E 50th St
|Cross street:||between Lexington and Third Aves|
|Opening hours:||11:30am–3pm, 5–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: E, V to Lexington Ave–53rd St; 6 to 51st St|
|Price:||Average main course: $19. AmEx, MC, V|