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Tabla/The Bread Bar at Tabla


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Dessert was also incredible, a chocolate chai semi freddo with home made whipped cream, it just melted in your mouth, my date had the vanilla bean kulfati ( is that spelled anywhere near right?) which is a very dense whole milk dessert its in the shape of an upside down cone

Your spelling is close. That would be kulfi.

Looks like I'm fourth to compliment your post. :biggrin:

Michael aka "Pan"


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thanks everyone for your compliments:)

I had the honor of meeting Danny last year when I was in college. My internship had the Cassandra Wilson party at Sugar in Tribeca. He was there and we spent 20 minutes discussing the rabbit entree at Gramercy Tavern. I never thought a man of his stature would be so down to earth and friendly , it was so nice! He was so modest too!

I just need to go to Blue Smoke now for some BBQ!!

"Is there anything here that wasn't brutally slaughtered" Lisa Simpson at a BBQ

"I think that the veal might have died from lonliness"


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  • 11 months later...

i've always enjoyed tabla. floyd cardoz has a deft hand with indian spices and western techniques. or perhaps i read that somewhere.

regardless, unless you're *very* hungry, i'd stay away from a tasting menu (although i'm always pro-tasting menu). every time i've had the tasting menu i've left too full. and yes, that's a bad thing. although i think i opted for the 7 course, and they do have a 5 course. you won't walk away hungry, that's for sure.

i'm not sure if he's got short ribs on the menu at this point, but if he does, order them.

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  • 2 months later...

aloha! Can anyone let me enjoy vicariously your dining experience at Tabla lately?

I have only eaten savored Floyd Cardoz' food at events in Hawaii and don't know

if I'll ever get to NY. What could I expect/enjoy? Mahalo :-)

"You can't miss with a ham 'n' egger......"

Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004

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i had the 7 course tasting a few weeks ago. i still like this place after countless visits.

i usually tell people to stay away from the 7 course dinner, as it has been, in the past, way too much food. however, the current version (or at least the one i had a few weeks ago), seemed an appropriate amount of food.

service was excellent, as you would expect. the room is still very cool, and if you snag a table by the window, Madison park is now actually attractive, rather than boarded up and filled with crack dealers.

edit: i see that you aren't planning on going, but rather you wanted details. well i just don't have any. sorry. :laugh:

Edited by tommy (log)
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thanks, I may go, my in-laws are going next week. Right now I am in Chicago eating my

way through lots of fabulous foods! I appreciate your time!

"You can't miss with a ham 'n' egger......"

Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004

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Was at Tabla during the spring break with my mom.

Whole Wheat Chapatis with delicious cilantro/mint chutney, these were so simple but sooo goood and comforting

Amuse Bouche was little cups of red lentil ginger soup, basically a soupy dhal, nice


Green Salad with cripsed rice, cucumbers and pomegranate dressed perfectly in a lime chutney sherry dressing, this all worked pretty nicely

Warm stuffed apple with roasted veg, roquefort, walnuts and cider vinaigrette, really could not taste any trace of the cheese but was still a "homey" type of dish


Pan roasted monkfish with spinach and carrots and parsi curry, not impressed. The monkfish was super thin, more like tilapia and lightly enctusted in cornmeal

The winner was my rice flecked bass with bokchoy and sundried ginger broth, the broth was outstanding and you could really taste each spice that was present


Pumpkin flan with cranberry orange compote and cream, average

Coconut, pomegranate, lime yogurt and passionfruit sorbets, phenomenal!!!!! I made a point of getting the sorbets at each restaurant we went to and these were by far the best (....we ran out of time for Otto's though...)

Petit Fours:

Cardammon sponge cake bites with orange blossom water meringue

Dense cinnamon chocolate cakes with pink pepper dark chocolate ganache

These were both excellent and it was nice to see that the kitchen put the extra effort into these. It was much nicer than the lousy peanut brittle we got at Craft.

Overall it was a good experience, fresh flavours, the service was outstanding and I would really love to go back and give the bread bar a try.

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  • 8 months later...

Tabla is going to be doing a special Tsunami Relief Dinner on January 10:


I wanted to let you know about a wine and food event that Tabla is hosting with Kobrand on Monday, January 10, to benefit the tsunami relief efforts. I thought this might be of interest in case you are working on any stories about how restaurants are contributing. Proceeds from the event will benefit Save the Children and their efforts for tsunami relief work. Kobrand has generously offered to provide all of the wine for the night.

The dinner will take place on January 10, commencing at 6:30pm with a champagne reception, followed by a five-course feast featuring Chef Floyd Cardoz' New Indian cuisine. Each course will be served with two wines. It's a great chance to learn about how to pair wines with the complex flavors of Indian cuisine.

The all inclusive ticket costs $175 per person, with proceeds benefiting Save the Children and their efforts for tsunami relief work.  RSVP to 1-866-kobrand.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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  • 4 months later...

i went at the beginning of the month had a phenomenal meal. the pulled lamb sandwich is fantastic, i can't say it enough. the sprouted bean chaat is wonderful and very different. the sour dough naan, the bhoondi raita with chickpea dumplings, the 3 chili chutney, onion rings, i can't remember unfortunately the name of most of what we ate-- everything was fantastic, i don't think you can go wrong with any item on that menu.

my favorite items were usually the ones that sounded more typically indian, they were not of course-- though the saag paneer pizza is amazing it paled next to other more humble sounding dishes (particularly those that are bean based).

if you drink, do not forget to order a cocktail-- some of the best i've had recently-- all were delicious but the cucumber cooler was by far the best we sampled.

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  • 4 months later...

Any word on this restaurant lately? Is Chef Cardoz's cooking as good as it has been? Everyone's been talking about Devi (and, on a less impressive level, places like Bombay Talkie) - but no one has come back to Tabla's Goan-American food of late.

What's going on in the Bread Bar these days - any new menu items that are worth checking out?

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  • 2 months later...

Janus and Ganesh New York City Entry #43

Some restaurants gain the attention of diners, while others, seemingly well situated are passed over. We hear a lot about Craft, little about March. Much about Bouley, not much about Chanterelle. Perhaps sheer talent has something to do with the matter (and it certainly should), but all four restaurants present food at a high quality of proficiency, and each would be candidates for the best restaurant in Cleveland - or perhaps Boston. What distinguishes the great from the sturdily competent.

In looking through the culinary discussions, I have been impressed by how little attention has been paid to Tabla, the haute Indian restaurant on Madison Square, part of Danny Meyer's collection. The relatively brief discussion on one list focused on the superior service with precious little about the food.

Tabla has been a favorite restaurant (my last meal three years ago was stellar), and so I returned tonight hoping for greatness. I find Tabla one of the loveliest restaurants in town, more captivating that the brittle and artificial fantasyland of Spice Market.

As always service was cordial and efficient, although I wished that the servers spent more time personally explaining the dishes on our five course Late Fall tasting menu, rather than expecting us to examine the printed card on the table.

The dishes from Floyd Cardoz's menu are proficient, even if a few nits are to be picked. Perhaps - as others have noticed - dining at Tabla seems a slightly schizophrenic experience. Some dishes veer toward European classical models, others go Goan. Unlike some high end nouvelle Indian restaurants (Chutney Mary in London, for instance), Chef Cardoz does not have a signature style, and in this he differs from his mentor Gray Kunz, formerly of Lespinasse. In contrast, he mixes Indian and continental styles in various measure.

Our amuse was a very congenial pumpkin soup with pumpkin seeds. The flavors here were curried, rich, and exotic. Unlike most pumpkin soups, this was stock-based, not cream-based. It was satisfying, if perhaps not tingly.

As a first course, we were served "Seared Nantucket Bay Scallops in a Cider Consomme with Apples and Thai Basil." In contrast to the amuse, this titled French. Bits of fresh sweet scallops were covered a basil-spicy consomme. I was grateful that it was a small tasting because the cider and apple made the dish over-sugary. Fine cider is always welcome, but for an exquisite memory, a greater reliance on herbs would have been warranted.

We then moved to "Rice Flaked Turbot with Yellow Foot Chanterelles, Tuscan Kale, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Jaggery-Tamarind Glaze." Jaggery is a cane-based sweetener, and as with the first plate, sugary tastes dominated. Our first two dishes were every bit as caloric as the Apple Tatin dessert. The turbot was coated in rice-krispie-like kernels, which while amusing at the moment, have receded in memory. I enjoyed the dish while on the table, but it seems too precious as I now consider it.

The third dish, "Coconut Poached Nova Scotia Lobster with Baby Basmati Risotto, Mustard Puree and Lobster Jus," was less of a dessert than the first two courses, but only by comparison. I was startled that the lobster was cooked to translucency: far less than is expected. I can't judge whether this was a choice or an error, and haven't concluded whether more stove time would have added or subtracted. As it was, the lobster became more noticeable. In contrast to the lobster the spiced risotto might have been slightly overcooked and slightly underseasoned. I enjoyed the dish in its moment of consumption, but wonder as I write this how it might have been modified to the point of splendor.

Our final main course was "Stone Church Farm Challan Duck Two Ways" (breast slices and chopped) with braised endive, horseradish, and orange curry. Chef Cardoz deserves credit for his mix of flavors, but the flavors become somewhat muddy in the consumption. With too much on the plate what begins a study in opposites because mush.

Dessert was Apple Tarte Tatin with Greenmarket Quince Membrillo (a type of quince paste) and Musu Apple Fritter (and what I took a vanilla based sauce). This closing was more European than Indian (although the apple fritter recalled a Jackson Heights Indian sweet. As is now often the case (as in the recent Baked Alaska I enjoyed at Café Gray), this reflected the pastry chef as literary critic. Olga Lusin, like so many of her peers, is a deconstructionist. With five components of the tatin on a long rectangular plate, Chef Lusin forced us to play with our food. I enjoyed it, although it fell short of tatin in which the chef did the work for us.

Writing this entry, I am startled. I enjoyed the meal more than it may appear from my critique. I now complain about each course, but while eating, I was pleased. Perhaps my complaints reveal that the food at Tabla is easier than thoughtful, more honeyed more than precise. I cherish Chef Cardoz for his candy and his bite - his Janus and his Ganesh - but perhaps I desire a cuisine of intention: a philosopher in the kitchen.


11 Madison Avenue (25th Street)

Manhattan (Flatiron District)


My Webpage: Vealcheeks

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  • 2 months later...

I've never ordered a tasting menu that didn't have at least one dud—even at Per Se. That changed on Saturday evening, when my friend and I ordered the five-course tasting at Tabla. This was a culinary exercise in near-perfection, from beginning to end.

Tabla is a bit difficult to characterize. Downstairs, there is a "bread bar" that serves conventional Indian food. The main restaurant borrows ideas from many cuisines, with only the slightest hint of Indian spices. (The Michelin Guide was thoroughly stumped; they branded the cuisine "Contemporary," the same pigeon-hole as Alain Ducasse.)

Tabla offers three dinner options: a prix fixe at $64 (you choose one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert from a fairly long list of choices); a five-course winter tasting menu at $79 (optional wine pairing, $38); or, an eight-course market tasting menu at $92 (optional wine pairing, $48).

We chose the five-course winter tasting menu with the wine pairings, which included the following:

Sweet Maine Shrimp & Fluke Cru

Lime, Cider & Toasted Spices

Champagne Brut Reserve, Biillecart Salmon (Mareuil-Sur-Ay, France) NV

Rice Flaked Turbot

Baby Spinach, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Jaggery-Tamarind Glaze

Sémillon, The Willows Vinyard (Barossa Valey, Australia) 2002

Slow Roasted Nova Scotia Lobster

Yellowfoot chanterelles, Water Chestnuts & Walnuts

Viura, Cune, Blanco Seco Monopole (Rioja, Spain) 2002

Challan Duck Two Ways

Braised Endive, Horseradish, Orange Curry

Chiraz, 3-Rings (Barossa Valley, Australia) 2004

Apple Tarte Tatin

Greenmarket Quince Membrillo, Mutsu Apple Fritter

Gewürtztraminer, Kent Rasmussen Late Harvest (Sonoma County, CA) 2003

Petits Fours, Coffee and Tabla's Teas

(The above is from Tabla's website, which appears to be up-to-date. I cannot swear that we had those exact wines, but I believe we did.)

The first course (Sweet Maine Shrimp & Fluke Cru) was a daring winter choice, as it was served cold. However, it worked in the context of the overall meal. The Rice Flaked Turbot was one of the top fish courses I've had anywhere. The duck was tender and hearty. If I had to deduct a half-point, it would be for the lobster, which was ever so slightly tough.

I was particularly impressed by the wine pairing. The wines were all a bit off the beaten path, but went perfectly with the food. And we had five glasses of well contrasted wines for $38. It has got to be one of the better deals around.

The layout at Tabla is a bit unusual. The fine dining restaurant is upstairs, but it is partly open to the floor below, and some of the sound from the bar drifts into the dining space. There is an attempt at elegance, and the tables are generously spaced, but I found it a bit chilly—and not only metaphorically; I regretted not bringing a sweater.

There is no flaw in the service, however, which is polished and efficient. Overall, this was one of the finest meals I have had in New York over the past year.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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For what it's worth, I ate at Bread Bar on Saturday night and give it high marks on several points:

1. For a woman traveling alone on business, it's a find.

I sat at the bar, where I could amuse myself watching the kitchen staff. The maitre d' and waiter quickly noticed me and made me feel at home. I joined in on some banter with the young chef who was running the line and the next thing I knew, samples were coming my way. (And no, I didn't have my reporter's notebook out, so they had no reason to "make" me.)

2. Thanks to all those scooby snacks, I got to try more than I expected. I loved the mussels in rich, red broth of curry and caramelized onions. Chicken tikka was as tasty as advertised, very moist, but a whole plate of it would have been very rich. Too bad it doesn't come in a small-plate version. Chickpea soup with calamari was unusual, also rich, but the calamari gets lost in all that spicy heat.

Roti was OK, but next time, I'll go with the garlic naan or the stuffed cheddar naan.

Forgive the lack of proper spelling -- see, told you I didn't have my notebook out -- but for dessert, I definitely preferred the frozen Tahitian vanilla custard with blood oranges over the soft pistachio custard.

All in all, I give Bread Bar high marks as a lonely-traveler refuge. For the record, I also ate alone at two other restaurant bars over the weekend: Momofuko (house ramen and pork buns) and dessert only (goats milk panna cotta and spiced hot chocolate) at Hearth.

Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

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You guys are making me miss working in Eleven Madison! When I worked there, the best lunch was at Bread Bar, especially in the spring, summer and early fall, when you can sit outside and look out over Madison Square Park. Sigh.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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  • 2 years later...

I had been wanting to check out the Bread Bar tasting menu ("Wazwan" they call it) for a while now, but wasn't sure I was interested in shelling out that much dough without having heard about it from anyone else. But one Amex Concierge "apology" $75 gift card later, and we were in business. Here is the menu:

Bread Bar Wazwan $51 pp

"A sampling of our Bread Bar favorites offered family style for the entire table"

Chuntey Sampler Greenmarket Apple, Tamarind-Jaggery, and Tomato Kalunji (requested substitution for Mint-Cilantro)

Fluke Ceviche Marinated with chilies, cucumber, thai basil & peanuts

Bombay Bhel Puri Street salad with puffed rice, apples, green mango, tamarind & mint chutneys

Black Pepper Shrimp Shell on, marinated in coriander seed & black pepper

Greenmarket Squash Foogath sautéed with mustard seeds, ginger, kokum and fresh coconut

Bread Bar Chicken Tikka boneless "murray's all natural" chicken marinated with curry leaf and ginger

Tandoori Flank Steak Marinated with cardamom, ginger, black pepper & yogurt

Roasted Mung Dal seasoned with coconut & cumin

Mung Bean-Basmati Pilaf Seasoned with mustard seeds & curry leaves

Chocolate "Kulfi Pop" with peanut cream and chocolate cookies

A few notes:

- You get a single Rosemary Naan at the start, and a single Garlic Naan sometime around the Chicken Tikka

- I added up the total cost of the dishes if you ordered them on your own, and you wind up saving about $25-$30 when eating for 2. The "Kulfi Pop" isn't on the menu (that I could see anyways), the rest is. Now granted, I'm not certain we got the same portion of everything as if you got it off the menu - if anything I suspect we got a little less in a single dish here and there, making it closer to a push financially. But...

- We left stuffed

- Service was great. We told them that my wife hates cilantro, and they worked around it without a peep after an extended conference with the chef. Hard to avoid cilantro in Indian cooking, but they were great about it

- With three lassi's and a diet coke (2 drinks each) it came to about $160

- They gave us each a little mini printed out version of the menu for us to "follow along". I liked it.

- The meal on it's own kind of looks like 10 courses plus two breads. But it was sort of broken out in sections: First chutneys, Rosemary Naan, Ceviche and Poori. Then next the Shrimp and Foogath. The chicken came alone, although the garlic naan came around here somewhere. The steak was served in close proximity to the Dal & Pilaf. Dessert was on it's own. So in the end it felt more like 5 rounds of food.

- They don't change your plates by default, but do happily accommodate you with a fresh plate when you ask. We asked once.

All in all, pretty happy to have tasted so much new food, and to have added another tasting menu notch in the belt. If you go by the rationale that "hey, for only a few more bucks I could go to X", you'll probably never make it here for this. But getting to taste 14 (three chutneys) things from Chef Cardoz's kitchen for $51/pp, it's likely gonna appeal to some people here.

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  • 4 months later...

I got an email from Tabla's PR people on Monday night about a new special Tabla is offering upstairs on Wednesday nights in celebration of Tabla’s 10th anniversary. It's a new menu called "Tabla’s 10." Every dish is under $10, some as low as $4. I chatted with Floyd about it and he thought a person could eat very well indeed on three or four of the small plates.

You have to make a reservation. This is in the upstairs room, not down at Bread Bar. Wednesday nights only, starting tonight. The menu will change every week. This is the menu for tonight:


“Tabla’s 10”

Satur Farms turnips chaat masala lime and pepper 6

“Kerari aloo” Street style crispy wedges seasoned with & lime juice and popin spice 8

Mung Bean Sprout “Bhel Puri” green mango, cucumber, tamarind and mint chutneys 7

Spinach “Pakoras” 7

Steamed rice 4

“Masala Saag,” spicy creamed spinach 7

Indian water pickles (mango, carrot and diakon) 4

“Aloo Kulcha,” sourdough naan stuffed with spiced potato, Kalonji seeds, cayenne 9

“Bhori Egg Curry,” yogurt and caramelized onion curry 7

“Dal fry,” pink lentils with mustard seeds and dry chillies 6

Tandoori King Oyster Mushroom (per piece) 3

“Tandoori Jinga kali Mirch,” (per piece) shrimp marinated in coriander and black pepper 4

“Nishte che Kodi,“ Goan striped bass collars in coconut tamarind curry 9

Goankar Tile Fish “fry” with coconut and ginger 10

Chicken “Kelaji masala” ginger, caramelized onions, mint & cilantro 7

Chicken Bharta, Ground chicken cooked “street style with cilantro and chillies” 9

Tandoori chicken wings 8

“Choris Pau” Goan pork sausage sandwich, Brioche Bun 10

Beef “Chapli Kebabs” egg coated and pan fried ground beef 9

Boodies Beef Pot Roast, ginger, turmeric and chillies 10

BB chutney Sampler 7

Apple Walnut Raita 4

Pear Chutney 4

Spicy Tomato Chutney 4

Makai ki Roti Mustard seed‐garlic corn bread 4

Rosemary Naan 4

Garlic Naan 4

Laccha Parantha 4

Sourdough Naan Ghee and sea salt 4


Tabla 11 Madison Avenue, NYC

Reservations: (212) 889‐0667


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I booked Tabla on opentable for Wednesday, going for the Tabla 10 thing. When they called to confirm, I stated that "it's for tabla 10", and they replied that those can't really be booked online, that I had to call in to book for that. They didn't make a big deal of it though, they just "switched" me (not sure what that meant) which was nice of them, so I'm still on for Wednesday. Just thought I'd share that as an FYI.

edited to add: Just got an email confirming cancellation of my opentable, so I guess they were referring to that when they said switch :-)

Edited by sickchangeup (log)
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