Life's full of questions. New couples, for example, want answers for heating things up in their mushrooming relationship. Four dates after a movie followed with a handshake, and about seven more away from kama sutra, Paprika Indian Gourmet Restaurant dashes that little dose of spice these burgeoning lovebirds desire come date No. 5.
Inside this intimate inlet, fit for 20, the air tinges with a medley of Himalayan methi leaves and paprika: the king of all spices, according to owner Shah Kabir, who runs the show along with son Mark Amin Kabir. Duos enjoy this space in complete harmony with their honeys as most business comes in the takeout and delivery form.
Couples cozy up with a bottle of wine while the strings of a bhajni veena overhead assist their fantasies of experiencing India's jewels like the majestic Taj Mahal, the breathtaking peaks of Kashmir, modest river life on the Ganges or perhaps a colonial seaside city; these images hang in framed posters aside tile-topped tables.
While slower paced weekdays work for dates and their flexible taste buds, weekends collect heavier crowds of families and groups of friends appreciative of the BYO amenity and a lack of religious setbacks (while more than vegetarian friendly, Paprika does offer chicken, fish, lamb and beef plates). Appetizers begin with Paprika crab cakes, pan-fried with Mughlai spices, $7.95. For dinner, Shah recommends the restaurant's signature Paprika chicken or chicken tikka masala: boneless chicken breast with a medium spicy yogurt sauce, $10.95. The delivery boy bids vegetarians an appetizing shag alu pannir: spinach with red potatoes, cheese and Himalayan herbs, $9.95.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: David-Anthony Gonzalez