At Vermillion, NYC

At Vermillion is the 2nd restaurant by the owner of Vermillion in Chicago. From all accounts the Chicago branch is a real success. The restaurant opened a few weeks ago, I had gone at the end of November for my birthday when the restaurant hadn’t been open for 2 weeks yet and as a result was pretty much empty, I actually thought the place was closed. There was no one at the downstairs bar where you enter and I had to ask if the bar was open.

At Vermillion, like it’s sister restuarant in Chicago is a new concept in fusion food – Indian & Latin fusion. I had trouble getting my head around the concept but what the heck, worth a try for sure. It sounded interesting enough.

The location seems a little off the beaten track to me. It’s located on 46th and Lex, behind 245 Park Avenue, but near Grand Central. Not exactly restaurant row. 245 Park Ave used to be the old home of Bear Stearns before they moved in to a brand new building a block away and then subsequently went bust. The space itself is georgeous. It’s a large restaurant, very mod, very tasteful, just beautiful. This is modern fusion so don’t expect your typically Indian place, even your high end Indian places. The staff is also more attractive and better dressed than your typical Indian place.

Keeping with the beauty of the space, the food is artistically presented and looks georgeous, though I thought the plates were a little too big in comparison to the size of the table, though portions are on the large side.

Ok, on to the food. The menu itself has both traditional Indian dishes and fusion dishes. We went with fusion mainly. I had the pani puri and tandoori steak while my wife had the cilantro tamarind shrimp and amchur & ancho crusted chicken breast. We finished by sharing the vermillion hedonism, a dark molten choccolate cake with chili masala orange and blueberry sorbet. The food in general was good, not great. The flavors were well executed but just didn’t have enough to be really good Indian or really good latin. I am used to eating great steaks and the tandoori steak just seemed like a decent cut of meat that tasted like tandoori chicken (but a good tandoori chicken). The pani puri was just a bad and messy (for me) concept. The dessert seemed to be overwhelmed by too many flavor profiles.

Cocktails are pretty good. We had the blood orange caiparinha and ginger pomergranate martini.

All in all, this would be a great place to come for drinks, hang out and then grab something as a snack rather than a full meal. My favorite Indian fusion remains Tabla (Bread Bar). They just do a fabulous job of melding the flavors so that you don’t even focus on whether this si Indian or something else.

Here’s a video that gives you a profile of the restaurant.

The Feedbag Previews At Vermilion from The Feedbag on Vimeo.

One Response to “At Vermillion, NYC”

  1. I can agree. Good but not great. I had the shrimp seafood paella. Little spicy but good. http://www.thiswifedontcook.com/2010/08/nyc-a-foodies-dream/

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