Current Affairs

A new term, new Restaurants to try - Mr.President


Heartiest Congratulations Mr. President on your re-election! Thank you for your invitation to the Presidential Inauguration.




 Above : with Mrs. Nisha Vinod at the Inaugural Ball.

I had the privelege and honor to visit the White House during your first term. It was Easter day and I missed  you Mr. President. I look forward to meeting you and serving you some delicious Indian food during your second term.


Above : With Celebrated Chefs Sanjeev Kapoor and Bill Yosses at the White House. 

 The dining landscape in Washington DC has changed tremendously in the last few years! You think of any cuisine of the world and we have them in Washington DC. By now you must have already received various recommendations for your dining in the second term. My humble suggestion is for you to start with the Cleveland Park neightborhood of Washington DC

The historic Cleveland Park in North West Washington DC awaits your arrival Mr. President.  Just to familiarize you with this Washington neighborhood, - Cleveland Park, named after the former President Grover Cleveland, is a historic neighborhood with an old theater – UPTOWN, and in my opinion has some of the best restaurants in town.


 'President Cleveland and Mrs. Cleveland' at the Cleveland Park day in front of Indique. (The President of the Cleveland Park Association dressed as President Cleveland)

When the economy was going south a few years back, this thriving neighborhood took a severe beating; the whole area began to deteriorate. A 100 year old grocery store – Magruders and smal businesses/restaurants like Yenching Palace and Yannis shut their doors; there were ‘To rent signs ‘ all over the place and  businesses began to notice a large drop in their sales.Corporate entertaining was reduced, office/holiday parties disappeared or were downsized and clearly the recession had set in.To confirm that further the ‘groupons’ and ‘living socials had come in a big way and everybody was looking for deals, deals and only deals.

Now hopefully with the worst behind us,and with the economy slowly improving, the empty stores are filling up and some new and exciting changes have come up. Palena restaurant, run by a former White House chef Frank Ruta, has taken over the Magruders, a new steak place - Medium Rare,has opened up. Veteran restaurateur Ashok Bajaj combined his two restaurants( Ardeo + Bardeo) making it larger. In anticipation of uptick in business, Restaurants like Dino and indique added a lot of new dishes to their menus.

Cleveland Park today offers almost every cuisine that you can think of Italian, Indian,Thai, Vietnamese, Modern American, Asian, Tapas, Steaks, French, Pizzas, you name it.

In my opinion, Palena, run by a former White House Chef Frank Ruta is one of the best restaurants in the area. It serves modern American. Palena has both a fine dining restaurant and a café. Here you can try Frank’s amazing three or four course menu or a burger next door.

  If you are in a mood for Indian – then there is no doubt that you have to try Indique, Mr. President. 

  (Full disclosure – Indique is co-owned by my business partner Surfy Rahman and me)

I am not recommending Indique, just because I co-own it Mr. President. I am recommending this because I feel it is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Cleveland Park in terms of its ambiance, quality and variety of food it has to offer.Indique showcases modern Indian cuisine.The name Indique is derived from India and Unique.


Below : The main dining hall located in the second level has two sections with beautiful marble railings from India.



Your family can explore modern Indian Cuisine. We offer small plates;It will be a chance for Sasha and Malia to be exposed to a variety of foods. First lady Michelle Obama would probably appreciate – simple, nutritious options as well as some healthy desserts.

Your choice of Indique has already been endorsed by your cabinet. Ms. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Janet Napolitano, Mr. Lawrence Summers, Mr. David Plouffe, and other dignitaries like the former President of India, the Ambassador of India have all eaten here. 

Let us take a few examples of the dishes mentioned. Our Salmon Slider is a very popular. It is both tasty and healthy. The salmon cake is sandwiched between "oothapam" - a savory lentil and rice pancake,"yogurt tartare" and grilled onions. 


 Above : Salmon slider


Above : Crab Papad Cones

CRAB PAPAD CONES -  are served in a cone made of baked lentils. Mr. President, you get the crunch from the papad, the heat from the spices, and little sweetness from the coconut. 

 Last but not the least we also have a healthy dessert Mr. President - Shreekandh brûlée

You find Creme brûlée at every other restaurant. Here is our version with yogurt..

Shreekandh - torching


Mr. Presdient again I invite you and your family to visit Cleveland Park and try unique Indian cuisine at Indique. Given your very busy schedule, I will be happy to bring the cuisine of Indique to you.


The CHEW - ABC 7

'THE CHEW' the much anticipated life style show,kicked off to a flying start today with our own Carla Hall from Washington DC and other celbs like Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. The show is broadcast live from NY city and promises cooking from home to food trends, home entertaining, restaurants and more...

All of the co-hosts did a cooking demonstration. Carla demonstrated how to make a fried apple pancake ring. Carla's sister, mother and husaband Mathew were among the audience cheering Carla. On behalf of all the Washingtonians and the Chefs/Restaurateurs, we would like to wish Carla and her co-hosts all the very best!

Here are some pictures of the show, along with a recipe for Pizza Margherita demonstrated by chef Mario Batali.




Here is a recipe for Pizza Margherita as demonstrated by chef Mario Batali on Chew.




 Chef Mario Batali demonstrating making of pizza..


To read more click on the story written by Tim Carman of the Washington Post - Click here

Les Dames d'Escoffier DC Chapter with Mrs.Kalpana Sen, wife of the Ambassador of India

Come, Join us on Monday, January 26, 2009 - 6.30 PM at Indique Heights, 2 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy  Chase, MD- 20815

Les Dames d'Escoffier and Indique Heights are commemorating India's Republic Day with a celebration of India's rich cultural and culinary history at the Chevy Chase restaurant.  Priced at $75 per person, inclusive of a glass of wine, the cultural fest marking the day the Indian Constitution came into force, will be held on Monday, January 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm.

I will take you on a culinary journey through India with a slide illustrated talk.

India Republic Day Menu

Welcome Tamarind Margarita * Mangotini * Mango Lassi * Lemon Soda * Other Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Bhelpuri with Paneer Shashlik and Tamarind Chutney
Tadka Idli (Steamed Lentil-Rice Cakes with Curry Leaves)
Mussels a la Indique with Tomatoes, Coconut, White Wine
Chicken Seekh Kebab with Ginger and Garlic

Aleppey Fish Curry with Green Mangoes and Coconut Milk
Chicken Dalcha with Lentils, Tamarind, and Mint Leaves
Syrian Lamb Fry with Coconut Strips and Aromatic Spices
Kadai Paneer (Homemade Cheese with Onions and Peppers)
Saag Makai (Spinach, Corn, Fenugreek Leaves, and Spices)
Dill Potatoes
Tomato Pappu (Yellow Lentils, Tomato, Ginger, and Garlic)
Jeera Pulao (Basmati Rice, Aromatic Spices)
Kaduge Pachadi (Yogurt, Cucumber, and Mustard Seeds)
Assorted Indian Breads

Mango Cheese Flan with Mango Raspberry Coulis
Shreekandh (Homemade Yogurt, Pistachios, Saffron)



R.S.V.P. by January 23, 2009, to [email protected] or 202.973.2181

Indique invited to serve Indian food at the Presidential Inaugural route

We are honored and humbled to be part of this historic 56th presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Indique / Indique Heights restaurants has been invited by the GSI in conjunction with the presidential inaugural committee to participate in the festivities along the parade route. Folks come and say hello and check us out at two locations.  We will be at the intersection of 15th street/ New York Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue and at 14th/ G street (west side) … On a cold day don’t miss the Masala Chai Tea, Bhelpuri and much much more.

If you need to see a more detailed map,locations, parade route,  road closings etc check out this site.

Secret Service


 To celebrate the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States – Barack Obama,
Indique restaurant,  will remain open throughout the day on 18th, 19th and 20th of January 2009.
The restaurant and Bar will be open till 4 A.M with a late night Menu and Specialty Inauguration cocktails.
We will also be having a happy hour from 4 to 6 pm on these three days.

At Indique Heights in Chevy Chase - South Asians for Obama is hosting a Brunch on Monday the 19th of January at 10.30 AM..

Tim Russert - We will miss you at Indique......

After a few months of opening Indique in 2002 – I walk in to the restaurant and I see a very familiar face. I was pleasantly surprised to see Tim Russert and his wife Maureen sitting at the bar counter and enjoying a meal. The then bartender of our restaurant Manya Solos was having a chat with them and she formally introduced me to this lovely couple. We got talking and remember telling him that I was a big fan of his Sunday show – Meet the Press. Subsequently I had met him on his several trips to the restaurant and on many occasions I had long conversations with him on various subjects including Indian Cuisine. On one occasion when I told him that I really admire his work, I vividly remember him telling me that it is a lot of work and how much he has to prepare before he conducts interviews.

He used to love the lamb chops and the shrimp and scallop masala at Indique. He always liked to sit and have his dinner at the bar counter rather than sit on a regular table. When I last met him in December he had come to the bar, he had a  Taj Mahal Beer. He and his wife apparently had done a lot of shopping and he apologized to me that they had to go to a party and was not going to have dinner that day. 

Tim was friendly, courteous and always had a good story to tell........

 We are all going to miss him at Indique. Our heartfelt condolences to his lovely wife Maureen and their son Luke.