I’m not usually terribly excited when a new Indian/Indian inspired restaurant opens, because almost all of them usually offer the standard menus of tikka masala, saag paneer, vindaloo, etc. I love all of those, but Indian food is WAY more than that and I think it’s important to highlight the eclectic culinary heritage of food from all over the country and show some creativity.
Enter American Tandoor. I’ve been following American Tandoor’s progress with EAGER anticipation, and am beyond excited for them to finally open tomorrow (Oct 30) in Tyson’s Corner. Why? Let me tell you.
1. The menu – American Tandoor is not a typical Indian restaurant. It has Indian inspired dishes with an American influence, which is in fact how the name came together! Saag paneer with a hint of Jack cheese, samosas with sweet potato and marshmallow, short rib with jiggery and garlic all showcase the American influence on Indian flavors. Even the standard dishes have a unique twist – the pork vindaloo comes with creamy cardamom grits! American Tandoor definitely has one of the most creative menus I have seen, and has some less common Indian flavors – mustard, tamarind, and even beef and pork on the menu (rarely seen). The chef, who came in from India, has worked with consulting chefs here to develop the menu – and it sounds fantastic.
See the full menu HERE, and I guarantee you will be salivating!
2. The drinks – Firstly, it’s almost unheard of now to find an $8 cocktail. The cocktail menu has Indian inspired drinks such as the Maharaja punch with cardamom infused gin, the Masala Sour with fig-infused bourbon and garam masala syrup, and a slew of other options. The infusions are all made in-house, and are very creative. Plus, they serve OLD MONK rum, which is what all young adults in India grow up with. The wine and beer list is also pretty good – so you will be drinking well, whatever the choice of drink.
3. Masala Bacon – Enough said, right? Brunch is where it’s at!
4. Street Kitchen – This is a fast food counter right next to the restaurant where you can grab typical Indian snacks such as dosas and Frankies (basically an Indian roll/wrap – with a filling of veggies/meats/sauces). Perfect to-go snack, but there is also a small dining area if you want to sit and enjoy it. ! I’m actually really excited about Streets, as I LOVE Frankies AND dosas and am yet to find a good one in the DC area.
Plus, the space is gorgeous and vibrant with lots of colors and interesting bits of art on the pillars. It’s in the Tysons Corner Center mall, easily accessible on the Silver line, but is also right next to a parking lot, if you drive.