Many consider Tamarind to be Manhattan's best Indian restaurant and the elegant atmosphere makes it a different experience from what you'll find in many other NYC Indian restaurants. Forsaking the usual brass, beads, sitar, and darkness, you'll find an airy modern dining room. Welcoming hosts, owner Avtar Walia and his nephew, general manager Gary, practically reinvent charm. The busy kitchen offers multiregional dishes, some familiar (tandoori chicken, a searing lamb vindaloo), some unique (succulent venison chops in a vigorously spiced cranberry sauce, she-crab soup with saffron, nutmeg, and ginger juice). The more intriguing a dish sounds, the better it turns out to be.