1627 Hillside Ave. New Hyde Park, NY 516-326-8900
Since everyhting on the menu of this stylish-looking South Indian restaurant is meatless- and kosher, too- even the strictest vegetarian can go to town. Dosas (lacy rice- and lentil-flour pancakes) come in myriad varieties. I was impressed with the fiery onion chili rava masala dosa, served with well-seasoned mashed potatoes. Try the comforting mixed vegetable uthappam, a thicker frittata-like pancade whose filling is baked right in. Palak paneer (spinach and cheese curry) is lush and savory. A real must is the bread; both the aloo (potato) paratha and onion chili paratha are warm and pillowy.Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Wednesday-Monday. Closed Tuesday. Credit cards: Accepted Accessibility: Yes
Many may be familiar with the Madras Woodlands restaurant that, for many years, was a fixture in Manhattan, near the United Nations. The owners of that restaurant have moved the entire operation to New Hyde Park, a boon to local vegetarians, especially those who appreciate the nuances of Southern Indian cuisine. To start, there's iddly (steamed rice and lentil patties) as well as vadai, addictive little fried lentil doughnuts, which may be ordered a number of ways. Another specialty is Mysore masala dosa, a large, lacy lentil crepe filled with a spicy potato onion and cashew mixture. Uthappam, a flat lentil pancake, can be topped any number of ways. There are also a variety of curries, which, unlike the Northern Indian variety, are made with yogurt. No Indian meal would be complete without breads. The varieties offered here - chapati (thin, soft whole wheat bread), poori (fluffy fried bread) and the larger batura (also fried) are indispensible to an evening of lively meat-free dining.