Aangan

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We sat a block away and across the street at the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream when I saw and began to crave some Indian food.  I always wanted to try Aangan, probably because there is an Aangan in Beijing, which I loved and considered the best Indian in the city.

This restaurant by the same name but situated in New York was not quite the same.  We ordered the typical Chicken Tikka Masala, which is a good baseline for comparison since I’ve had it at almost every Indian restaurant I’ve ever been to.  I wonder though if people really eat this dish in India.  In my mind, it may be like General Tso’s Chicken which is the most popular dish in the US, but non-existent in China.  We also ordered some Goat Rogan Josh in addition to Naan and Peshawari Naan, which were fine and edible.

The food wasn’t bad or difficult to eat since I cleaned up the plates, but it wasn’t anything great, and was incredibly overpriced.  If this were an Indian restaurant located in my hometown in Central Pennsylvania, then I’d probably think it was great; however in the city of New York, this restaurant offers nothing unique or amazing and there is no reason to dine here again.

Telepan


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This would be the third stop for me on restaurant week.  Here, one could choose from the typical $35 3-course dinner or a discounted version of their 4-course meal, available for $45 rather than $59, wine of course was not included at this price.  Again, I was not alone, so I had the opportunity to at least sample eight dishes, although I cannot say that I can judge them all fairly.  Sometimes the pleasure of a dish evolves as you eat, and for at least 3 of the dishes, I had no more than a single bite.

For the appetizer, we began with a Vegetable-Bread Soup and their famous “BLT” Salad.  I only had a spoonful of the soup, but from it, I could only say that it did nothing to impress me or entice me to try more of it.  The salad was very good, like a BLT sandwich with high quality ingredients, just with more greens and less bread.  I quite enjoyed the incredibly crispy bacon as well except for the fact that it was sometimes hard to get from the plate to my mouth using a fork.  The Chinese side of me really wanted chopsticks at times…

The mid-course consisted of Nettle & Wild Spinach Ravioli in addition to Lobster Bolognese.  The ravioli was quite pleasing, but small.  It only consisted of 3 pieces, and I took an entire piece from my dinner mate, apologies for them, but I liked it a lot.  As for the lobster spaghetti, it cost a supplementary $5 and though delicious, I am not completely convinced it was worth it.  The lobster was by all means delicious, and the spaghetti was well prepared, complimented with just the right amount of sauce.  The combination was great, but not great enough to convince me that the extra $5 was really worth it.  But I suppose you live and you learn.  I guess fresh lobster is not so readily available here as it is in Maine.

For our entree, my partner in crime as-per usual had Roast Chicken, whereas I indulged in the Wild Striped Bass.  The chicken here was well roasted, causing me to reminisce about the chicken at Maialino the other day.  The meat was very good, but I was not as impressed by the sauce and skin.  It did not offer the simplicity combined with the flavorful taste that I was able to indulge in the other day.  My bass was very good too, but not exceptional enough to leave a deep impression on me.  As this post is a few days overdue, I can no longer accurately recall my experience with the fish, therefore I can only presume that it was good, but certainly nothing that changed my culinary life.  She tells me that she thought I ordered scallop from the first bite…  Sadly, I can’t even remember if it tasted like scallop…

Dessert, however, is a different story, for I thoroughly enjoyed my Telepan S’more.  This was everything I loved about a s’more translated into a luxury dessert.  Chocolate brownie, marshmallow, graham cracker, and ice cream neatly stacked and each piece complimenting the others.  My only complaint would be that certain parts were a bit hard to cut with just my spoon.  But that most definitely did not detract from how satisfying it was to my palate.  The person across the table was not as impressed, which I can’t agree with.  But, I do agree with her assessment of her own dessert, which was the Crunchy Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Gianduja.  The first bite was amazing.  Every bite after that was an overload of sweetness and sugar.  If somehow they could make it less overwhelmingly sweet, it would be an ideal way to finish the meal.  It reminded us both of our overwhelmingly sweet experience of “The Works” Pizza at Max Brenner.  Though this was sweet, it still couldn’t compare to that pizza.  I personally blame the peanut butter.