The who: Chennai-born Ramesh Kuduru, executive chef at the Ritz Coconut Grove’s Bizcaya, brings us A Passage to India, a pop-up inside the restaurant. The chef has overseen Indian weddings at the hotel, and brings the same theatrical flair to the proceedings here.
Don’t miss it: The Indian pop-up will be open Thursday through Sunday, dinner only, until Nov. 3, ending with a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. The chef will also host an intimate cooking demonstration on Oct. 12.
The scene: A Bollywood-style wonderland with low-lit lanterns, beaded fabrics and jeweled parasols hanging from the ceiling. Servers are dressed in colorful saris, and sitar music magnifies the maharaja vibe.
The plates: Traditional Indian cooking from across the subcontinent. Classic dishes include chicken tikka, masala shrimp and dal makhani. Prices are in keeping with the high-end hotel, with starters averaging $12 and mains in the $20s. Fresh-baked naan, mini-vegetable samosas and a golden beet salad start things off. Dishes like the aloo choole (potato and chickpea curry) are served in brass bowls, with mango lassi shooters to clear the palate. Sides of saffron basmati rice are fragrant accompaniments to the exotic feast.
Bottom line: The city’s first Indian pop-up offers a fleeting taste of Bollywood-style feasts. It’s one of the only spots in town for upscale Indian.