First Look: Spice, the New Indian in Nyack

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The spot at the east end of the strip mall on Main Street in Nyack has been a lot of restaurants over the years, from the Italian place (fettuccine something?) that I went to a Sweet 16 party at in the ’80s to a Mexican place to a fancy French place (remember B3?) For the last few years, it’s been an Indian restaurant, albeit one that was popular as a night spot, too.

Well, it’s changed names again, though it’s still serving Indian food. Now it’s called Spice. I tried it out for dinner on Saturday, and, while I’m willing to give them another chance, the experience wasn’t perfect. First, we waited nearly 10 minutes, milling about at the door before getting seated. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but it felt like an eternity. If it was going to take someone that long to get to us, I would have preferred they say something like, “We’re really in a crunch at the moment, would you mind waiting at the bar for 5 minutes until we can seat you?” That would have been fine, especially because we did not have a reservation. (There were at least 5 tables open, so I think they had room for us…)

Anyway, once we sat down, service was amiable, if a little green. But dishes were brought and cleared promptly and our server was smiling.

On to the food. That above is the mulligatawny soup ($5.95), which this evening came without chicken. The soup was actually quite tasty and filling.

Maybe they saved the chicken for this dish:

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Chicken Jalfrezi. It’s with red and green peppers in a spiced tomato sauce. It was fine. Nothing special, but fine.

The Aloo Gobi — potato and cauliflower — was actually my favorite dish of the night. Nice depth of flavor, not too spicy, not too bland. Potatoes were not overcooked and the cauliflower has a nice texture, too.

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Here’s where things really started to fall apart. I normally get curries, especially korma or tikka masala, at Indian restaurants, so I don’t know quite what I was thinking when I ordered the sea bass. I believe something about the modern decor got me thinking I should try a more modern dish. Check out the clean design of the place. Nice fabrics, not a lot of decorative items:

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The grilled sea bass platter — here it is:

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— was billed as “with chef’s special dressing.” When I asked what the special dressing was, I was told olive. But the olive dressing, sort of like a tapenade, came on the side in a little metal cup. But even that wasn’t really the issue. The fish tasted like chlorine and that infused the rest of the flavors on the plate. I only had one bite. Now, I know what you’re going to say: I should have sent it back. But I’d already eaten plenty and I didn’t want to make a fuss.

I think the thing is, it’s not what people go to Indian restaurants to eat. So I’m going back to try the curries. I’ll let you know how I fare.

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Spice, 125 Main St, Nyack. 845-353-3663.

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

2 Comments

  1. Can’t believe I’m disagreeing with the guru here, but I have to say I loved my meal at Spice. The traditional dishes — like chicken tikka massala, biriyani, somosas — were outstanding, and the mixed drinks were trendy, fun, and creative. My only minor complaint was that on the night we went there was only one waiter, handling some 12 tables, but even he managed to keep it all together and our food made it to the table in a timely manner. All in all, one of the best Indian meals I’ve had in the entire Westchester-Rockland region, and Spice easily has the nicest decor in its class. Liz, you should go back again and try some of the more traditional sauce-based Indian dishes. Oh, yeah, don’t forget to get the Naan sampler — there are some really amazing options (paneer naan, kasmir naan) that don’t disappoint.

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