I love Indian food. I eat it just about every chance I get. When I get together with the Anti-Couric and Dr. Gold, it’s usually our food of choice–which means we’ve had very mixed results. Since moving back East of the River, I had to abandon my former favorite Indian restaurant, Haveli in Middletown. I had always heard how good Ambassador of India was, but never had mind-blowing experiences. Then it closed.
Enter Utsav in Vernon.
Located in a mini-strip mall, it doesn’t look like much from the outside. But inside, the bright vibrant colors and the attention to detail instantly makes you happy to be there (your napkin color matches your plate color, the light fixture colors match perfectly on each side…it soothes the OCD soul).
The service and food also shows that same attention to detail. Even when the place is packed, water is refilled, servers are there should you need anything, and the quality is near perfection. If you have special requests (like me, being allergic to nuts), or need some translation and explanation on menu items, they are quick to attend to your needs and are incredibly patient in explaining some of the more exotic and unfamiliar dishes.
My favorite dish is the muttar paneer–a classic vegetarian dish with paneer (Indian cheese) and green peas in a delicious and flavorful creamy tomato sauce. Depending on my mood, I like it pretty spicy but not flammable, which can be a tricky thing to get right. They have always hit it right on. The Boyfriend would rather be set on fire, so they even cater to his sadomasochistic desire for incredibly hot chicken vindaloo.
The portions are incredibly generous; we’ve been known to get multiple meals from the leftovers and we are not light eaters. Every dish or appetizer we have tried has been excellent and we have never known bad service. The Mysore Dosa appetizer is one of my favorites–it’s a crepe filled with potatoes and peas and it’s good and spicy, not to mention gigantic (if you like it milder, go for its cousin, the Masala Dosa).
So if you are looking for some of the best Indian you will ever get in Connecticut, make your way to Utsav because I promise you will not regret it. Three shakers because fantastic service, amazing food and just the right amount of spice is incredibly salty!