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Masala Art - A Taste of India in Uptown DC

6 Dec

While Rasika gets a lot of pub for its wonderful Indian cuisine, Masala Art is nearly as good and even better priced. Located right in the heart of Tenleytown off Wisconsin Avenue, Masala Art offers an extensive menu that ranges from four varieties of naan to more than a dozen vegetarian entrees.

Sarson wali Gobhi

With our friends Brian, Kim, and their baby Micah, we kicked off our Indian dinner with an order of their garlic and black pepper naan as well as the Sarson wali Gobhi (tandoori cauliflower). The naan was terrific – it arrived piping hot and was not dry at all. It also helped sop up the sauce from the gobhi which featured a coating of spices punctuated by mustard seeds.

Garlic and black pepper naan

Meanwhile, I couldn’t resist ordering a personal favorite, the Chicken 65. Our friends Keith and Casey, who live across the street from Masala Art, turned me onto this appetizer and I have been hooked ever since. A stew-like dish that features chunks of chicken in South Indian masala, it had a nice kick and wonderful flavor. Highly recommended.

Chicken 65

As for our entrees, we decided to order a trio of dishes to share amongst the table. We went with the Murgh Makhani (chicken in tomato cream sauce), Channa Masala (chickpeas), and Baingan Bharta (Tandoor roasted eggplant). Otherwise knows as butter chicken, the Murgh Makhani was very good although there could have been a little more meat with all that delicious sauce.

Murgh Makhani

Meanwhile the Channa Masala, another traditional dish, was a crowd-pleaser. It was nothing extraordinary, but it was well-executed and well-suited for sharing.

Channa Masala

As for the Baingan Bharta, between the smoky eggplant and creamy texture, it was the favorite out of the three entrees we ordered that evening. Like the Murgh, it had fallen victim to an out of balance entrée to sauce ratio, but whatever eggplant I could scrounge up was indeed delightful.

Baingan Bharta

All and all, Masala Art served up some excellent Indian cooking that night. We didn’t have any issues with the service, though we felt slightly rushed given the small dining room as well as those waiting for a table at the front of the house. If you live in the area, I should note that Masala Art offers takeout – a nice plus if you want to chow down on an order of Chicken 65 while sitting on your own sofa.

Masala Art on Urbanspoon

Happy Hour at Pete's New Haven

5 Apr

We already know that Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza serves up arguably the best pizza in all of DC, but what you may not know is that they offer a terrific happy hour as well.

Rachel and I went to their Friendship Heights location last Friday not only for an early dinner, but to also partake in their great beer specials. All of their draft beer is half price, and considering that they offer some terrific brews, it’s an exceptional deal. Where else in the city can you find a pint of Great Lakes Eliot Ness for fewer than three dollars?

Veggie and Chef's Choice

I repped the DMV by ordering a glass of Port City’s Optimal Wit – a fantastic wheat ale brewed in nearby Alexandria. Glasses of house red or white wine are $2.50 each, and you can also order a pint of Moretti and a slice of cheese pizza for $5 as well.

As for food, we started off with a cup of their lentil soup. Normally when you envision lentil soup, you think of a thick, whole-bean texture. Not the case at Pete’s. It had all the flavor (and then some) but with a finer consistency, almost like a bisque. It was very, very good and was accompanied by a warm piece of homemade focaccia.

Lentil Soup

And then of course, there was the pizza. What more can we say? Pete’s does it right every single time. The crisp, slightly charred crust prepared with high-quality toppings makes this former New Yorker (albeit upstate) and New Jerseyan very happy.

I ordered a plain as well as a chef’s choice (which featured caramelized onions and prosciutto) and I can’t think of a simple complaint about either slice. Rachel ordered a slice of veggie (which included sautéed spinach and roasted peppers) and loved it.

Cheese SlicePort City Optimal Wit and Great Lakes Eliot Ness

The only problem was that we apparently did not get the memo that we were supposed to bring 300 kids with us. Seriously, the place was jam-packed with tots. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, we simply had no idea it would be like that since we’ve been here for happy hour in the past. Then again, that was on a Tuesday and this was on a Friday afternoon.

Not Pete’s fault by any means. Hell, they must love it what with the line pretty much going out the door. We’ll just have to return for happy hour on any day but Friday. Sorry Rebecca Black, but it seems your demographic already conquers that specific day at Pete’s.

Pete's New Haven Style Apizza on Urbanspoon