It doesn’t look quintessentially Indian: The linen napkins are Italian, the custom plates are Japanese, and the glossy oak-wood tables and white-quartz bar are dotted with dishes of duck-confit sope and farm-fresh deviled eggs. Except, at Tapestry—New Delhi chef Suvir Saran’s return to a New York kitchen after leaving the Michelin-starred Devi back in 2012—that street-food sope ($22) is crowned with tangles of India’s pickled kachumber salad and those picnic-basket deviled eggs ($13), thrum with sambar powder and curry leaf, and sourced from the chef’s own upstate farm.
“Global threads on an Indian loom,” Tapestry pitches on its website, and the menu backs it up. In collaboration with his chefs de cuisine, Joel Corona, a Mexican-American private chef from California, and Mumbai-bred Aarti Mehta, Saran smoothly shifts between his native Indian cuisine and the food of farther-flung locales: A deep-red crock of harira posole ($25) marries Morocco with Mexico City, but generous sprinklings of saffron and cumin give the bowl an undeniably Indian backbeat.
In some dishes—a smooth rabbit terrine with pistachios and Pernod ($23), say—Saran eschews the flavors of his homeland entirely, but there’s more fun to be had when the chef toys with Indian tradition. Crispy-edged brussels sprouts cleverly form the base of an opening chaat ($14), enlivened with tamarind and mint chutneys and kala namak (South Asian rock salt). Cauliflower makes a number of appearances, the best of which is a char-roasted number with Indo-Chinese hakka spices and balancing sweet tomato jam ($15).
Despite crowd-pleasing meats like a masala fried chicken ($30), sufficiently crunchy and spiced over a peanut-studded slaw and lemony aloo bharta, vegetables are the high point here—not surprising from an Indian restaurant, no matter how reverent it is to the form. The most soul-warming dish on the multicultural menu, oddly enough, tastes the most Indian: Saran’s birbal kee khitcheree ($25), a one-pot porridge of lentil and rice boosted with fistfuls of cumin, whole cloves and cayenne for kick. One spoonful is proof—for all of his detours, Saran still has a strong hold on home.