Mt. Kisco Indian Food Reviews by NY Times M. H. REED January 2013
Over the last two years, Bonnie Saran, who grew up all over India as an Army brat, opened three informal food shops in Mount Kisco, each with its own take on traditional street foods.
What is being cooked up is fresh, satisfying and delicious, from rolls, kebabs and rotis like those hawked at markets and bus stops throughout India to the kinds of crepes found at street stalls and creperies throughout France.
A colorful facade unifies these storefronts and dishes from all three shops are available to diners wherever they choose to sit. One can order, say, the lentil salad from Little Crepe Street, a frankie roll from Little Kabab Station and a drink from Little Spice Bazaar.
Some factors to note: Street parking is limited, but there is a large metered lot across the street. Reservations for a group of four or more are a good idea. Service is uneven but willing, and wheelchair access is best through Little Crepe Street.
LITTLE KABAB STATION - The brilliantly painted bus motif in this cozy nook of a restaurant conjures up the open stalls found around India’s busy bus depots. Little Kabab Station, which seats just 12, was the first of Ms. Saran’s trio to open.
Big, crisped vegetable samosas contain steamy potatoes and peas. Terrific nan and paratha are supple and freshly made and come with zesty toppings like paneer chili, goat cheese, pesto or chutney.
Have plenty of napkins ready for the succulent Bombay frankie roll ($5 and $6), which folds slices of tender chicken or lamb, sweet onion, green chilies, mint and a raft of Indian spices into a fluffy paratha.
Like the skewered chicken tikka and the lamb rolls, the substantial frankie comes wrapped in foil to keep the shape and filling under control. Unwrap the roll as you eat, a bite at a time.
Curries and kebabs ($9 to $15) are served with rice or that excellent bread. Dishes like malai chicken or shrimp have aromatic creamy sauces, perfect with rice. Chicken or shrimp Madras delivered only a moderate kick from hot chili, which usually fires this dish, but the kitchen will season it to order if you want more heat.
Give the lamb-and-lentil patties (shammi kebab) a pass — they were dull and textureless.
31 East Main Street, Mount Kisco; littlekababstation.com; (914) 242-7000. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
LITTLE SPICE BAZAAR - Little Spice Bazaar opened early last year. At the back of the shop, containers are heaped with teas and coffees; brilliantly colored — and hard-to-find — Indian spices add their scents to the room. Packaged herbs, beans, incense and rice line the mini-grocery’s shelves.
Up front, a lassi bar features India’s most popular drink; here it’s Monsieur Singh’s brand. A poster of a turbaned Monsieur Singh and words of ayurvedic wisdom decorate the walls. The yogurt used in the lassi is made fresh daily, and an imported lassi machine, looking like a “Star Wars” droid, stands at the ready.
Mousson Mango, Magique Almond, Rose Je T’aime, Tropical Paradis — the lassis’ names are as captivating and exotic as their flavors. There is a fresh-juice bar as well, and blends of pineapple, apple, carrot, beets and more combine in drinks called Citrus Dreams or Power To Do More ($4.50).
Hot chocolate ($2.50), or a cup of coffee or tea ($2 to $3), might be just the thing when the weather in Westchester makes you wish you were in Kerala.
27 East Main Street, Mount Kisco; (914) 218-3333. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
LITTLE CREPE STREET - An archway connects Little Spice Bazaar to Little Crepe Street, the newest member of the trio, and the largest; it seats 20. Four crepe griddles are the focus of the open kitchen here, and they turn out more than two dozen kinds of crepes ($7 to $10), all made to order. Like Indian dosas and parathas, French crepes are natural wraps. They come savory or sweet, and Little Crepe offers more than a dozen of each. Though you can try chicken tikka masala filing, most combinations are Western.
Many of the savory crepes are made from gluten-free buckwheat flour, and that punchy flavor goes well with the feisty fillings: Provolone helps meld salty-sweet prosciutto and tangy arugula; meaty cremini mushrooms give tooth to soft leeks and creamy Brie; and ham, egg, onion and Cheddar make the Western classic. For a breakfast treat, try smoked salmon with cream cheese or bacon with Cheddar and a sunny-side-up egg. Salads ($6.50) are also on the savory side of the menu. Lentil chopped salad with beets, onion and blue cheese was outstanding.
Wheat flour makes a lighter, almost lacy crepe, perfect for sweet fillings. It would be hard to beat plain butter and sugar, but here one can also choose Nutella and banana, lemon curd and fresh berries, or flaming, orangy crêpes suzette. A scoop ($2) of ice cream from SoCo Creamery in Great Barrington, Mass., sidled up to a crepe adds delicious decadence. A scoop on its own is none too shabby either, if you don’t mind the cold.
29 East Main Street, Mount Kisco; (914) 242-0200; littlecrepestreet.com. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* A version of this review appeared in print on January 27, 2013, on page WE7 of the New York edition with the headline: French Food Tonight? Or Maybe Indian? Try Both.
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