A few weeks ago I had lunch with Steingarten at Tabla. We had an absolutely terrific meal there, and we both arrived at the same conclusion: Tabla chef-partner Floyd Cardoz is cooking with so much confidence now he is clearly at the top of his game. His food is spiced more assertively than ever before, with no loss of subtlety. The roasted baby pig alone is worth a visit. Tabla has become the best contemporary Indian restaurant in New York (and perhaps the country), and I don't think there is even a close second. I'm sure I'll still eat at the less formal Bread Bar (downstairs from Tabla) more frequently than Tabla, but that's because I like eating Floyd's more casual food on the fly. It's less of a commitment time-wise and cheaper to boot. Plus, you can only eat Floyd's best-in-show onion rings and his incomparable pork shank vindaloo at the Bread Bar. Who knew that a chef raised in India (Goa actually) would come up with my favorite onion rings in New York? And maybe if you ask nicely one of Danny Meyer's ultra-friendly servers would bring the onion rings and/or the pork shank vindaloo up to your table at Tabla.
Tabla 11 Madison Avenue (at 25th Street) New York, NY 10010 Ph: 212-859-0667