Marigold Indian restaurant, now in Andersonville, still a gem | Bleader

Marigold Indian restaurant, now in Andersonville, still a gem

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It wont look like this too much longer
  • Ted Cox
  • It won't look like this too much longer
I've been a fan of the upscale Indian restaurant Marigold since it opened in Uptown, back in 2006, when I described it as "a stunner, a low-lit, jewel-toned space with impressive cuisine." It seemed to me the food was more sophisticated than you'd find on Devon, yet no less authentic in terms of ingredients and heat. I also liked the friendly, intimate atmosphere. So I wasn't sure what to expect when the place moved to Andersonville last fall. In fact, I confess I was initially more excited about the restaurant that went into its old spot, a second location of Tony Hu's Lao Sze Chuan. But as it turns out, this is one of those rare situations that can be truthfully termed win-win: the north side gets both a source for lamb with cumin Xin Jang and a Marigold that's as good as ever, just more loungey, with a larger bar and a wall of windows that in summer will open onto the sidewalk.

The menu still has my favorites, among them the meltingly tender murgh makhni (aka butter chicken) and the dahi kebab salad, microgreens with pistachios and a warm, peppercorn-encrusted yogurt cake in a garlicky orange-coriander vinaigrette. There are reliable standards from samosas to dals to tandoori preparations. And then there are snacks that all but beg for a nice breeze and a beverage, like a basket of green beans fried in a light, crispy pakora batter and served with a chile masala dipping sauce. A specialty cocktail such as the Himalayan Presbyterian (rye, ginger beer, and orange bitters) or a Mumbai Mule, made with fresh ginger and cardamom-infused vodka, might fill the bill. "Global" wines on offer include 14 whites and reds averaging $30 a bottle, beers a couple of Indian imports and craft beers from Founders, Metropolitan, Two Brothers, and Brooklyn's Sixpoint Brewery. If you're up for it, you might even try an imported soda, Thums Up, which Coca-Cola India describes as having a "strong, fizzy taste" and "confident, mature and uniquely masculine attitude." Ahem.

Another win for the north side in all this is the return of naanwiches, wraps made with the tandoor-fired Indian flatbread. Matt Maroni, who earned a cult following for these with his food truck and Edgewater storefront, Gaztro-Wagon, shut things down last year. But Marigold, which put their own versions on the menu some time ago, still has them at the new place, available with tandoori chicken, masala-spiced duck confit, or stir-fried vegetables and paneer.

Marigold, 5413 N. Clark, 773-989-4300, marigoldrestaurant.com

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