- New York City’s Semma, Washington, D.C.’s Rania, and Chicago’s Indienne were awarded one-star rating for high quality cooking.
Three Indian restaurants received Michelin stars last week, awarded to restaurants offering outstanding cooking. New York City’s Semma, Washington, D.C.’s Rania and Chicago’s Indienne won one star for high-quality cooking, according to Michelin Guide. Performance Foodservice website notes that a one-star rating means, “a very good restaurant,” two stars signify “excellent cooking that is worth a detour,” and a three-star restaurant offers “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.”
Semma is helmed by chef Vijay Kumar, who switched coasts from San Francisco’s Rasa to o run the show at Semma, where regional south Indian cuisine is on full display,” Michelin Guide said. Noting that the restaurant’s “authentic Indian cooking doesn’t pander to American expectations,” the guide advises those unfamiliar with the tastes and some dishes to “lean on the staff who know their stuff and are eager to share.” It warns that the “dishes are spicy,” but adds that “the heat is used as elegantly as it is liberally.” Some of the dishes the guide recommends are mulaikattiya thaniyam, “the chef’s childhood snack that bursts with flavor”; the gunpowder dosa, “a classic rice and lentil crepe filled with potato masala”; and “Attu kari sukka, “a falling-apart tender lamb in a dark brown curry redolent of warm spices. “
Chef Chetan Shetty of Rania, which translates to “queen” in Hindi and Sanskrit. “delivers something entirely enticing here with his inventive menu,” the Michelin Guide notes. The menu includes “plenty of contemporary touches along with a few surprises” like the braised pork belly vindaloo, it adds. “Dishes like shiso leaf chaat balance a playful spirit with elegant overtones, while ghee-roasted lamb folded inside a delicate lentil cheela has a spicy kick that is tempered with a buttermilk mousse.” For dessert is recommends the “slightly sweet strained yogurt mousse with a hint of pistachio and cardamom.”
Chef Sujan Sarkar makes a splash of his own with Indienne, the guide says. À la carte is available, but first-timers should start with the tasting menu, “where Sarkar delivers an original, modern vision of Indian cuisine,” it recommends. While Sarkar’s food “may look like pieces of art, it tastes like familiar favorites pulled from across his vibrant homeland.” The food is “deftly spiced and elegantly presented,” the guide says, “at times showcasing a hint of French sensibility.”
The three deserving chefs were encouraged by Vikas Khanna, who took to Instagram, to share photos of the chefs. He wrote that Diwali arrived a little early in the U.S. because not one, but three Indian chefs were recognized by the world’s most prestigious culinary award. He said he looks forward to the days when every country would house a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant.