I recently switched to a new company (within my previous company), which meant a change of building (three blocks away). It's surprising what a difference a few blocks makes to your perception of some things. I'm now just across the street from Shanik- the much anticipated Indian restaurant that got pretty mixed reviews out of the gate, so I'd shied away. I'm trying to be better about thinking of ideas for our weekly date night on Wednesdays, so thought it would be a good chance for my husband to see my new office space, meet some of my coworkers, and try out a restaurant we've both tentatively had on our wish list for a while now.
They're only open for happy hour in the bar before 5:30pm, so when we first walked in they didn't seem open yet. I thought maybe only the 'Market' portion of the establishment was open, but Dan assured me he saw it on their web site. While we were checking our phones, the hostess came up and let us know they were open, and escorted us to the bar. (Unlike the layout of many restaurants, the bar is tucked in the back, and a screen blocks your view from the entrance, so it looks like an empty restaurant with an open door.)
The bar itself is very modern in style, but with vibrant colors and floral patterns repeated in several places (laser cut steel tables, wall covering, and window decals). I liked the look, and was suprised how comfortable the low, natural wood stools are - even with my bad back.
Along with waters we were brought small happy hour menus, listing various food items, but only one cocktail - the Bollywood 411 - which I asked about and learned was essentially a mango mimosa ($5), so I went for it. Dan opted for some wine. Then we ordered a few things off the food menu.
First was the Spice Encrusted Lamb Popsicle (normally $9, $7.20 each during HH). We were warned it was the price for one, so we got one each. They were super tender, cooked perfectly with a little pink inside, and with nice grill char and spices, as well as nice sauces.
Our second item was the Lentil and Potato Pakoras with Date Chutney (normally $6, $4.80 HH). They came with a mango dipping sauce as well as a mint chutney, both of which lent a lot of flavor to the little fried bites.
We ordered the Marinated Paneer Kabob, but they were out, so instead we tried out the Spicy, Mini Indian Crepes (Pura) (normally $6, $4.80 HH). They were vibrantly yellow from turmeric, and also paired with the same sauces. They were rolled and sliced in such a way that we could eat them with our fingers - perfect for bar food, I thought.
The lamb was hands-down my favorite of the three items we tried, and enough to entice us back to try more. The service was attentive without being invasive, and the space was very clean and comfortable. I'm eager to check out the entire menu, and maybe see a full drink menu. I always think not having a full drink menu on hand is a lost opportunity, but maybe I've been binge watching 'Bar Rescue' too much.