Indique Heights, Chevy Chase, MD

At around 8 PM on a Friday, I was happy to see Indique Heights full of people — they were doing over 100 covers that night (and on a related note, Lia’s was even more packed). It was nice to see GM Surfy Rahman working the host stand, and I was escorted to the bar by an extremely gracious and welcoming lady. (“Lady” sounds so … lame, but I suppose it’s the corresponding word to “gentleman.”)

I had every intention of going vegetarian last night, but sentimentality got the best of me, so I recreated a special meal, and it was a good call.

Samuel Smith beer isn’t what it was twenty years ago, but their India Ale ($7) is still a good, malty offering.

A double-boned Tandoori Lamb Chop ($9) marinated with house spices and grilled is a must if you love lamb. Pull it apart, eat it with your hands, and revel in the cumin-y bliss of the marinade.

Because I’ve had this combination before, I knew it would go perfectly with an entree of Shallot Potatoes ($11). An ample portion of potatoes with shallots, chili flakes, curry leaves, and mustard, and cooked S-L-O-W-L-Y so everything integrates and acquires a mouthwatering depth of flavor, this is a fantastic, must-have potato dish.

I’ll be writing more about this combination of items on in an upcoming “Best Dishes of 2010” thread – but not quite these exact dishes from last night. Stay tuned…

Surfy came over to check on me, and didn’t realize I’d ordered the combination – it turns out the lamb chops are served on a small bed of these potatoes, so there was some redundancy. He brought out a fascinating dish for me to try:  Crab Papas Roll ($8).  Listen to this:

Temaki Sushi is a cone-shaped hand roll – nearly all sushi bars will offer them. Well, Chef Vinod has done his own little riff on one, Indian style. There were two cones per order, and (just for comparison) Surfy served one, cold, vegetarian, with a potato and cheese stuffing – it was relatively bland, and cracked and fell apart when I tried to eat it. Then there was the crab roll: a rolled up papadam in the exact shape of a temaki roll, stuffed with warm Maryland crab, shallots, green chilis, and coconut.  This was sooooo much better than the vegetarian version, not just because of the depth of flavor, but also because the stuffing was moist which made the bottom of the papadam cone (is it correct to call such a thing a papadam?) soft so it didn’t crack apart when you bit into it.  This is a great, great appetizer that you have got to try.

Come here and order the Crab Papas Roll and the Tandoori Lamb Chop, in that order. It will cost you $17 for the two, and you will walk out of the restaurant saying ohmmmm … my God!

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