Written by Marilyn Hansen and Hulda Lawrence
Utsav-Festive India, 1185 Avenue of the Americas, enter on 46th or 47th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. (212) 575-2525; FAX (212)852-9007; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The entrance is under a bridged walkway garden between the two streets. Come into an inviting bar where cocktails and a special bar menu are served. Sample items: grilled curried chicken kababs, vegetarian hors d'oeuvres and bite-size lamb kabab in wraps.
Celebrated chef Walter D'Rozario has broadened the range of Indian cuisine with traditional Indian dishes plus newly inspired dishes for today's taste. Recommended appetizers are lamb escalopes seared on a hot stone served with tomato and frisee salad; lightly fried fritters of eggplant, spinach and onion with house chutneys and tomato relish, and tender lamb sausages served with a mint yogurt dip and cucumber salad. From the earthen oven choose from Tandoori Chicken, Ginger Rack of Lamb, or Fresh Spiced Shrimp, all served with rice, vegetable and kali dal (lentils).
Select from an appetizing selection of seafood dishes: Fish curry or Mustard-Rubbed Bass wrapped in a banana leaf, both served with vegetables and basmati rice. Chef D'Rozario does superb braised Lamb Shanks and Beef Chili Fry served with rice and vegetables. If you're looking for real Indian curries, there are a number on the menu, especially Chicken Chattinad and Madras Lamb. Naturally there are many tempting vegetarian dishes and varied dal preparations. Utsav's skilled bakers produce great Indian breads: naan, onion kulcha, whole wheat paratha and more. Overall the service is gracious and attentive.
For dessert the Mango Cream Crepes and Mango Mousse are memorable! The restaurant itself is visually pleasing featuring an open, airy space with a softly draped ceiling , dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows that look on the open-air plaza below.
Utsav-Festive India is open for lunch from 12 to 3 p.m. every day featuring a $10.95 Buffet along with ala carte. On weekends the Special Luncheon Buffet features South Indian Cuisine. There is a pre and post theatre dinner for $20 and "Happy Hour" daily in the bar from 5 to 7 p.m. with complimentary hors d'oeuvres.
Hours: Lunch daily 12 to 3 p.m. Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 11
Credit cards: All major
Wheelchair accessibility: Yes
Smoking: In Cigar and Lounge and Bar.
Parking: Garage on 47th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.
Le Rivage, 340 West 46th Street (212) 765-7374, is a cozy corner of France on Restaurant Row in the heart of the Theatre District in the largest city in the world. This family enterprise has provided good and honest food at this location for 17 years; previously it had been on East 86th Street for 25 years. Here, Marcel Denamiel and his son Paul, a superior chef, cover all of the culinary bases.
Lunch and dinner is prix fixe, consisting of appetizer or soup, salad, entree, dessert and coffee. The cost of the entree determines the price of your lunch or dinner.
At lunch recently, I began with hot Leek and Potato Soup while my companion had the hearty Lobster Bisque. This was followed by a Green Salad with an excellent dressing. Our lunch entrees were Bay Scallops with mushrooms in a superb sauce and Coq au Vin. With these dishes came seasoned rice and spaghetti squash. Most lunch entrees are $16.75, with choices such as Escargots de Bourgogne, Chicken Cutlets, La Coquille des Fruits de Mer, Emince de Veau, Boeuf Braise a la Bourgeoise, and various omelettes. The Coq au Vin is $17.75 as is Truite aux Amandes and Tranche de Boeuf.
Dinner in the evening features such appetizers as Terrine de Canard, Artichoke Hearts, Moules Farcies, Pate Maison and Celery Remoulade. Of course, Onion Soup or the Soup du Jour is always available as an alternative to an appetizer. The choice of dinner entrees range from Foie de Veau ($25.75) to Filet Mignon or Sirloin Steak ($28.75). Canard a la Orange and Escalopes de Veau are $25.75. With 15 entrees nightly and an occasional special, diners have many choices. In addition here are eight seafood entrees that include Frogs Legs Provencal, Saumon Poche Dijonnaise and Filet de Sole Meuniere.
The same dessert menu is available both for lunch and dinner. Chef Paul makes a wonderful Creme Brulee and his Fruit Tarts are delicious. Coffee comes with dessert and international premium coffee with various liqueurs is yours for $6 - $7. You can order from a wide selection of reasonable wines, by the glass or the bottle, with Mouton Cadet by the bottle at $25.75.
Hours: Lunch and dinner daily. Closed Monday.
Credit Cards: All major.
Wheelchair accessibility: rest rooms are one flight down.
Parking: Open lot on West 46th Street across the Street
The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.