Junoon brings a Taj Hotel-level elegance to Indian dining in New York, from the black limestone façade to chef Vikas Khanna’s intricate cooking and the list of 250 wines selected by Scott Carney, Ms. Khanna’s dishes present the pure flavor of the main ingredient, layered with the trebles and bass of spice. Lobster tandoor comes in two tails, slightly charred but not dry, with a subtle heat to bring out the brininess of the shellfish; Zilliken’s Saarburger Rausch dives right in and brightens it up. The riesling also sweetens and lightens a three-lentil shorba, a rich, wintry soup spiced with fresh turmeric, cumin and cilantro that echo in high notes, red notes, green notes and browns. Red wines find a playing field with the curries and grilled meats; a Tollot-Beaut Bourgogne Rouge makes a light, fruity accompaniment to a goat matke wala (a handi, or curry, with tomato, bay leaf and pomegranate). Junoon may not convince you to give up beer with Indian food for good, but it proves wine can be a welcome alternative.
27 W. 24th St. (btw. 5th & 6th Aves.), New York, NY
This story appears in the print issue of April 2011.
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