The Scoop on Chutney Masala in Irvington

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Irvington has become quite the restaruant hot bed. In the past six months, we’ve seen Red Hat on the River and Mima open and One get a new highly-regarded chef. The lastest entry? Chutney Masala, which opened yesterday in the former Flirt Sushi space across from the train tracks in the parking lot on the river. The owners are calling it an Indian bistro because they are serving traditional Indian dishes in a modern setting. There’s another twist: in a turn of phrase usually reserved for New American restaurants, chef-0wner Navjot Arora says he’s planning to use local produce, free-range, hormone-free meats and “fresh, wholesome ingredients with no artificial flavorings or additives.”

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There are 90 seats: some downstairs, as you see in the photo above. There is also a bar with antique tiles:

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The restaurant’s decor is by Tarik Currimbhoy, who used antique mirrors, green banquets and photos and lithographs of the British Raj era to create a modern atmosphere that doesn’t let you forget your dining in in an Indian restaurant. The upstairs:

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The restaurant is also co-owned by Sushil Malhotra, who owned Dawat in Manhattan and was the president of Cafe Spice restaurant group. Arora, the chef-owner, went to culinary school in India and worked for the Taj hotel group. He grew up cooking with his parents and always made the mint chutney. (Chutney is the English version of the Hindi workd chatni and it means condiment or relish. The restaurant’s other name, masala, means a spice and herb blend.)

Looking out at the river from the upstairs window:

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The menu is not huge like at some Indian restaurants. It includes some familmar dishes, like vindaloo, tandoori dishes and curries, but diners who have not been adventurous before will find some interesting new choices: Goan clams with coconut, amritsari macchi (flour-dusted tilapia with crushed garlic, carom seeds [which smell like thyme], cilantro and pomegranate chutney) and gilafi purda kebab, which is skewered ground lamb with cumin and ginger baked in flaky bread in a tandoor.

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Prices range from about $14 to $24. There will be a 3-course Mother’s Day brunch for $39. Right now, the restaurant does not have a liquor license. They will provdie wine for free or you can take your own.

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Here’s Navjot Arora:

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The 411 on Chutney Masala Indian Bistro.

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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.

18 Comments

  1. Open already? Wow, that was fast! Can’t wait to get down and check it out.

    Did you get to taste any of the food, Liz?

  2. I just called, no lunch buffet. I guess there has to be one Indian place that doesnt’ do one.

  3. Jerry Eimbinder on

    Chutney Masala had a soft opening on Wednesday, April 30. Dorothy and I stopped by the following night and thoroughly enjoyed lamb and chicken specialties enhanced with different, mildly spiced red sauces (the sauce used for the chicken was sweeter), fresh from the Tandoor oven naam (bread) and fine, chilled rice pudding for dessert. Both Raj and chef Navjot Arora’s wife Anu helped us make selections. Anu said that some of the dishes on the menu were based on receipes she and Navjot developed at home and have cooked for several years. Many Navjot learned from his parents. Chutney Masala’s dishes include Sarson Nacchi, Avial Nalabar, and Goan clam curry (coconut infused clam curry). Typical prices are curries ($16), chicken ($18), lamb ($20) and seafood ($23 to $25). The restaurant will open for lunch starting next week. Most of the tables are on the second floor which has a view of the Hudson. To get to Chutney Masala (4 West Main Street), make a right from Main Street at the Irvington train station, go over the railroad bridge and follow the road as it turn to the left. Make the first right turn. Then turn right into the parking lot (free self parking).

  4. Liz, great write-up.
    For the record, though, Red Hat was already open in Irvington for many years. They simply moved locations (from up the hill, to beside the river) in the last year… In fact MIMA opened in their old spot.

  5. Linda Barlow on

    Some needs to tell Tarik Currimbhoy and Navjot Arora that a deer head on the wall is not generally appealing. Although perhaps it’s evidence of their “free-range, hormone-free meats”!

    Seriously, we wish them much success!

  6. I cannot wait to try it! Living in Irvington, I’m always excited for a new local eatery, and I LOVE indian food. Don’t think I’ve ever had a $16 curry, though. Ouch. I agree that a lunch buffet would be excellent. And the deer head has got to go 🙂 FYI, their website seems to be up, but it’s http://www.chutneymasalabistro.com
    My mouth is watering.

  7. eric millar on

    I lay claim to being one of Westchester’s greatest curry afficianados and checked out Chutney Masala on 5/2.

    Verdict : MAGNIFICO !!!. And the Murgh Methi was way out of this world. Don’t tell too many people or you won’t get near this place !!

  8. I have about a dozen deer in my yard that I would love to see on that wall instead. Love Indian food. Glad to have some choice in Irvington.

  9. Good to have good reviews! We wish Navjot and Anu all the very best and may Chutney masala bistro make many more Indian food fans!!

  10. the food here is out of the world. i just went in for a casual dinner which turned into a lovely experience. must thank the chef for the exquisite cuisine which i so missed.
    thanks liz for telling us about this. great job!!!

  11. We have been going to Indian restaurants in Westchester for over 30 year. Chutney Masala is a new and welcome restaurant. My wife and I have eaten there 4 times since it has opened and have recommended it to friends, relatives and co-workers. We feel it is the best Indian restaurant that we have eater in for years and are glad this opened in our home town of Irvington. If you eat there, be sure to get a table on the second floor as the view of the Hudson is superb. We have but one word for th food. DELICIOUS.

  12. Absolutely loved it. Am loving the restaurants in Irvington, have lived in Bronxville all my life, and I am telling you it is worth the 15 mins of gas to get there! By far the best Indian food I have ever had in my life. The servers know what they are talking about and made wonderful recommendations, the decor is beautiful, and I agree with Victor, definitely call ahead and ask for a window seat, especially around sunset time…breath taking.
    These foods are especially fantastic: lobster moille, murgh tikka makanwhala (best chicken tikka masala I have had at any Indian restaurant, very creamy and rich), and god I could eat about 40 of the plain old classic naans…

    Best wishes to the owners, Navjot and Anu, they will come around and talk to you-so nice!

  13. Just went for Sunday Lunch, had some Dosa’s. These were not cooked properly. And, also poor service. Manager seemed non-responsive and food under cooked.

  14. Sorry James that you had a bad experience .We would appreciate if you could give us another chance we would like to make it upto you .Do let us know when you stop by .
    Thanks

  15. I’m from Santa Barbara, California and am visiting my fiancé in New Jersey. Last night, we watched a superbly crafted news story which showcased the Chutney Masala restaurant. She insisted that I seek out directions to this fabulous hideaway. We both LOVE Indian cuisine, so we’ll probably stop by this weekend for a Valentine’s Dinner.

    I have been a vegetarian for 40 years, so I trust there are some decent selections.

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