The design skills of a woman with films like The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic under her belt.
A Lichtenstein-inspired floor-to-ceiling mural painted by a young Desi pop artist.
An alliterative name.
Put it all together and you get The Bombay Bread Bar: the latest from chef Floyd Cardoz, best known for his work at Tabla and North End Grill.
If you didn't know, which would really be quite forgivable, Cardoz was behind the modern Indian spot, Paowalla, that used to occupy the space. But it wasn't exactly the restaurant he wanted—it was a touch too formal, too modern, too...not The Bombay Bread Bar. So this is his attempt to make a restaurant more similar to his Bombay eateries: lively and casual with satisfying, classic Indian dishes.
Come with a date whenever the night calls for spice-heavy cocktails and chicken-chickpea naan in a bright, buzzing space. From the colorful floral tablecloths to a curtain of strung marigolds, you won't be shocked to learn Kris Moran is behind the space: a woman with numerous Wes Anderson films under her belt. Slide into a two-top, under a portrait of a suited being with an animal head (because of course those are here) and start with some drinks. Durga Complex (mezcal, Chartreuse, sorrel-honey, orange blossom, chili), Hanging Out With Ravi Shankar (cognac, mango puree, lemon, fennel candy rim): both fair game; both slightly sweet and spicy and heavily flavorful, as is most of what you'll consume here.
The wood-fire oven is churning out bacon-cheese naan served alongside mint-cilantro chutneys, so make sure you get in on some of that. Then we'd suggest as many small plates as you can handle: Goan crab cakes over avocado-tamarind chutney, south Indian beef samosas with with cucumber-coconut raita, chickpea-battered onion rings... before sharing some larger ones like banana leaf-wrapped halibut with cashew-coconut red rice or chicken tikka with watercress salad and lemon chutney.
Well, we're hungry now, so we've got to go.
Here's a menu, if you're the type who likes to check those out.
And here's a slideshow, same deal. Stay dry out there.
The Bombay Bread Bar, now open, 195 Spring St (at Sullivan), 212-235-1098