As I noted in my last post, I had Thanksgiving dinner at Indian Accent in 2016 and while discussing over the phone with Peter where I should eat this year, he made a reservation for me and paid for my dinner.
This year their Thanksgiving dinner was a different but still all the Thanksgiving foods with a South Asian twist. Last time the only main choice was turkey but now they added a fish and a vegetarian dish. Originally I was going to also get the wine pairing but I remembered that when I had the wine pairing with one dinner and one lunch on the cruise this summer (which I still have not written up), I found myself taking a sip or two and seeing how the wine complemented the course and then eating and seeing the next course coming out and then I had to either gulp down the wine to be ready for the next or drink two glasses of wine at a time.
But I did start with a cocktail – the El Jefe (mezcal, gooseberry, and Framboise). I did ask if it would be sweet and the waiter assured me there was just a little sweetness that offset the smokiness of the mezcal and she was correct. It was served with a spicy salt rim.
With dinner, I decided on a glass of their Albariño. Later, when my main was served, they gave me a complimentary glass of a Cabernet blend because it went better with the turkey.
First to come out were two amuse bouche. The first was a stuffed naan and I did not hear what it was stuffed with but it seemed to be vegetable. The second was a pumpkin soup with coconut milk. Both were delicious and I wish I could have had a bowl of the soup.
One of the differences from last time was that I got three appetizers with the prix fixe dinner. This time I had to choose two out of four. My first choice was the sweet potato shakarkandi and kohlrabi topped with crispy okra and surrounded with starfruit with a dot of tamarind sauce. The crispy okra was a nice crunch with a forkful of the shakarkandi and kohlrabi soft patty. And then you had the sweetness of the star fruit and tamarind sauce to set off the earthiness of the shakarkandi and kohlrabi.
Next appetizer I chose was the smoked duck shaami, crispy sevai, and barberry chutney, which I forgot to take a photo of until I had eaten half of it. The shaami was shaped like a patty and the sevai looked like a bird’s nest on top – so another soft dish with a crunch on top. The dish packed more heat than I was expecting but you can tell by the way I dug in, that I liked it a lot. I was seeking out the barberries in the shaami to relieve a little of the heat.
Of course, I chose turkey for the main. It was a turkey tikka roulade with a masala cranberry glaze that was poured tableside. It was served with a couple of asparagus spears and two red cherry tomatoes and two yellow cherry tomatoes. For me, as for a lot of people, the best part of Thanksgiving is the sides and this was no different. The turkey was my least favorite part of the meal – the crust was very hard and difficult to cut and the inside was like small meat peas and not visually attractive and not as tasty as the rest of the food. But the sides – there were plenty of those and I could not finish everything.
The sides – Gujarati sweet corn khichdi, black dairy dal with black garlic naan (you had a choice between black garlic naan and butter naan), smoked eggplant and bhujiya raita, cumin and cranberry potatoes, tamarind glazed Brussels sprouts with bacon (they asked whether you wanted bacon or not), and Kashmiri morel and pinenut pulao. I ate all the Brussels sprouts that were not as sweet as I feared they might be – plus bacon. I also ate all the cumin potatoes despite them being served cold and the cranberries were like delightful surprise in your mouth. I had two pieces of the naan, which was also cold. I really liked the eggplant in the raita – a great idea that I wish all the Indian restaurants around me would try. The bhujiya was again a nice crunch but the raita was needed by me to offset the heat in the turkey. I had a few bites of the pulao, which was warm and had a nice bit of earthiness and a beautiful fragrance – the problem was that I was too full from everything else. I also finished the Gujarti sweet corn khichdi, which did not have much heat but did have a few pieces of popcorn on top and I declare that all creamed corn should be served with a few pieces of popcorn sitting on top of it.
At this point I was stuffed and I still had dessert to come. Last time I was served two desserts but this year, you chose one of two. I chose the winter carrot halwa pie with saffron mascarpone and pistachio ice cream with crushed pistachios underneath the ice cream. I loved the way that throughout dinner there was a deliberate choice to serve soft foods with an added crunch. The halwa was warm and the crust was one of the most perfect crusts I have ever eaten – it was even a little sweet. The halwa tasted like a carrot cake custard. A little mascarpone, a little halwa, and little crust on the fork – perfection.
Now that I have had two Thanksgiving dinners at Indian Accent, I need to go back and try their regular menu. The staff there is attentive and friendly from the moment you enter until you leave.
By Carene Lydia Lopez