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Heritage India, Storied North Indian Restaurant Moves to Wisconsin Avenue and Macomb Street in Cathedral Heights


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Since Indique opened, I have probably only been to Heritage India (the Glover Park location) once or twice. The food was always consistently good, however I had a few complaints about most visits.

Note: I recognize that Indique to Heritage is not an apples to apples comparison

I felt nickeled and dimed with charges being tacked on for small portions of daal and white rice. The service, which ranged from indifferent to downright rude, also deterred me from making return visits.

I was also really sad when they removed lamb samosas from the menu. mad.gif

Today, though, I received their Restaurant Week menu via e-mail and it piqued my interest in giving the Glover Park location another try. I can post it here or in the RW discussion if anyone is interested, or feel free to PM me your e-mail address and I can forward the message.

Has anyone been to Heritage India lately? I'm not so interested in the more fushiony menu offered by the Dupont location. I'd love to hear about hits, misses and of course, the service.

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I think they have the best Indian food in the city, but I rarely dine in there because of the same service complaints you mentioned. We usually phone in an order and pick it up.

For one of the most pleasant dining experiences in the city, go to Bombay Club, instead.

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My wife and I live nearby and go to Heritage India a decent amount. The food continues to be very good, but the service also continues to be terrible. We've reached the point of numb resignation: we go in there expecting bad service, so it doesn't bother us as much.

That said, it's the only decent Indian within walking distance, so we return fairly often. We're fans of the lamb vindaloo as well as the Goa fish curry. A vegetarian friend of ours (as well as my wife and I ) is very happy with the eggplant dish, which I can't remember the Indian name of. The saag paneer is also a good standy-by.

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I think they have the best Indian food in the city, but I rarely dine in there because of the same service complaints you mentioned.  We usually phone in an order and pick it up.

The Dupont Circle location delivers to Logan Circle so I get my weekly fix of their chix tikka marsala and dal with naan at my place w/o being frustrated with service.

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Stopped by Heritage Dupont today for lunch and was informed that they had Restaurant Week going on - fine, but I wasn't in the mood for three courses when one is normally too much for me to finish there. Figured I'd order some korma as usual. Unfortunately, the host informed me that they were only serving the Restaurant Week menu - WTF!?! I thought the point was to maybe get new customers, not alienate your existing ones. And they still had the normal menu posted outside and no mention of RW...

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How comparable are the Glover Park and DuPont locations?

On my last visit, I tried their chicken makhni, and am convinced the sauce they use is the nectar of the gods. A co-worker of mine went last week to the DuPont and reported that the chicken meat itself had taken a downturn in quality and was underdone across the table.

Is the Glover Park just as good? I'd probably rather try there first before returning to the DuPont location.

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Last night I went to the Dupont location for a birthday happy hour. They have a great happy hour special where all their appetizers/"tapas" dishes are half off. A friend and I shared somosas, tikka lol (?--tasted like tandoori chix), and calamari. The somosas were very good. The calamari was similar to the calamari dish at Indique but better-- this one had a distinct coconut milk flavor. Very good deal-- The total for all 3 dishes was $15. The bar seemed a bit understaffed -- only two bartenders to take orders and handle drinks, but it was a pretty festive setting.

I really like the Chicken Tikka at the Glover Park location, but I am so turned off by the service there that I'll only get take-out.

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I really like the Chicken Tikka at the Glover Park location, but I am so turned off by the service there that I'll only get take-out.

To be honest, while the bar service is OK in DuPont, the table service is usually atrocious. Of course that's a huge generalization but based on my own experience and trusted foodie friends, there have been more instances of bad service than good.

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Last night I went to the Dupont location for a birthday happy hour. They have a great happy hour special where all their appetizers/"tapas" dishes are half off.  A friend and I shared somosas, tikka lol (?--tasted like tandoori chix), and calamari.  The somosas were very good.  The calamari was similar to the calamari dish at Indique but better-- this one had a distinct coconut milk flavor.  Very good deal-- The total for all 3 dishes was $15.  The bar seemed a bit understaffed -- only two bartenders to take orders and handle drinks, but it was a pretty festive setting. 

I really like the Chicken Tikka at the Glover Park location, but I am so turned off by the service there that I'll only get take-out.

there can be quirky service at glover park, but even when there is it has not been enough to turn us off from the food. one time, apparently, our server was reprimanded for carrying out the entrees shortly after we were served our appetizers and abandoning them on a tray behind the table. (I had my back to everything that was going on.) anyway, he was replaced by another server for the remainder of the meal, but reappeared as we were leaving at the top of the stairs glaring daggers at us. he looked like he was ready to throw a punch. in early summer, our young waiter sulked through the entire meal. we assumed he was on his college break and forced to work there by relatives associated with the restaurant. however, he improved steadily and the last time he served our table he was so good that we assumed he must have been kicked out of school. :lol:

overall, however, i would say that reports of bad service here are rather exaggerated. usually, it is quite professional, attentive and even friendly.

i haven't heard much about the bad service at passage to india, yet that is where some of the surliest floor staff from heritage are now to be found. on a recent rainy saturday night for a 7:00 reservation the passage manager had us wait 20 minutes standing by the bar, and he was not friendly. the few customers who came in without reservations were shooed off until 8:45. two tables for four were open at the time, and only one of them was eventually filled. several tables cleared about the time we were seated and several more tables opened up during the duration of our meal, whicy, by the way, was good, but not quite up to the standards at heritage. ordering from the south off a menu that is divided into four directions. shrimp were small. stewed cabbage brought out pancake flavors in the nan and the pickle tray provided an unfamiliar assortment. the calamari here was tender and perfectly cooked, which is often not the case at heritage. actually, the service at passage was on the decent side once you got past the feeling that you and others were a small imposition.

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overall, however, i would say that reports of bad service here are rather exaggerated. usually, it is quite professional, attentive and even friendly.

That may be your perspective, but I personally have experienced rude service at Heritage India in Glover Park. On its best night, the service has been just average, never friendly or accommodating.

I'm glad you've had good service, but your post struck me as discounting the feedback of those whose perspectives differ.

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How comparable are the Glover Park and DuPont locations?

They feel very different to me and I believe the menus are fairly different. The Dupont has the formerly Greek space, somewhat cavernous, while Glover Park is warmer and cozier, more traditional.

The menu at Glover Park is more traditional as well. The Dupont menu, at least the last time I was there, pushed much harder toward new/fusion/"street food", with lots of small plates and fancy presentations. The chicken dish my dining companion ordered, instead of coming with chunks of chicken served in a sauce, had the sauce in its own little dish and the chunks of chicken speared on toothpicks and stuck into... a pineapple slice, maybe? Anyway, that's the impression that stayed with me.

That and the family-unfriendly Kama Sutra illustrations on the walls in the women's room.

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That may be your perspective, but I personally have experienced rude service at Heritage India in Glover Park.  On its best night, the service has been just average, never friendly or accommodating. 

I'm glad you've had good service, but your post struck me as discounting the feedback of those whose perspectives differ.

i don't doubt that you and others have experienced poor service at heritage. we have too, but it has been the exception, not the rule. actually, my experience is that when the service is sour the food goes south as well, not sure exactly why. however, the staff here is friendly and is accommodating and even smiles -- most of the time, in our experience. (by "here" i did not mean people posting, but the restaurant.

one question i have about heritage (and passage) is why they don't use UV glass to keep their photos and prints from fading into oblivion.

Edited by giant shrimp
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Heritage is my favorite Indian restaurant, but the service can be spotty. It seems to me that the service has improved, as I can remember times two or three years ago that we would wait like seemed hours for the next course to come, with no good explanation and no apology (and often a shrug). But they seem to have gotten their timing better, even if it seems a bit "detached" at times--I can't imagine feeling like a regular, no matter how often we might go. Why they can't understand the value of real friendliness eludes me--I guess we've been spoiled by places like Haandi--an old standby--where we're greeted by name and told that we've been missed, if it's been awhile.

I like the one in Dupont Circle and am quite fond of Passage to India as well, but the cooking seems to be more consistant at the Glover Park locale. And to the poster who praised the Chicken Makhani, I agree wholeheartedly. The sauce truly is the nectar of the gods--we have a friend who comes up from South Carolina from time to time and she cannot leave without going to Heritage for that dish.

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post-272-1131130249_thumb.jpgAll On Same Plate at Heritage India:

-Palak Makai - Creamy spinach and corn in fresh herbs

-Murgh Makhani - Tandoori grilled cubes

of chicken in a rich tomato cream sauce

-Yakhani Gosht - From mountains of Kashmir –

cubes of lamb simmered in yogurt and saffron

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I should have listened to you! We ended up at heritage india and had an unimpressive meal. We were so hungry after looking at the galleries, we stopped at the first place we walked by, which I thought I remember hearing good reviews about. We walk in and got a table about 15 minutes later-- the bar was packed, but no one was really waiting for a table.

I ordered wine by the glass. Annoyance #1- the wine by the glass was neither described, nor were the prices listed on the wine list.

We ordered several of the small plates:

Aloo Tikki- Potato cakes, shaped like volcanos, there were solid, nothing to get excited about.

Behl Puri- A lentil salad served in a papadum. I didn't like it-- it was too sweet at first for the savoriness that followed. +1 dug it, though.

Seekh Kabob- Minced lamb that was seasoned, again solid.

Polenta Cake with Oriental Chicken- While it was described as "not for the faint- hearted", I didn't find the seasoning to be too spicy. This was by far my favorite dish.

Naan- Good

We were planning on ordering dessert, but then our waiter disappeared-- the way the restaurant is set up, I knew he wasn't in another part of it-- he was just gone. We didn't see him again for 15 minutes, most of the other tables were looking for him, as well. Our bill was less than $35 (before tip), so it was cheap, but I don't see how this restaurant ever qualified as one of the 100 best in DC.

So we left and hit Krispy Kreme-- a hot doughnut now, beats most anything.

:lol:

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That said, it's the only decent Indian within walking distance, so we return fairly often.  We're fans of the lamb vindaloo as well as the Goa fish curry.  A vegetarian friend of ours (as well as my wife and I ) is very happy with the eggplant dish, which I can't remember the Indian name of. 

Those are the exact three dishes I had at a dinner last night. The fish curry is splendid stuff, the vindaloo not as hot as some but nice and rounded, and watch out for the halved jalapenos in the eggplant dish.

Service was decent enough--note that if you go as a hungry two-top, request a larger table.

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the vindaloo not as hot as some but nice and rounded

on wisconsin ave, at least, tell them you like your lamb as hot as a live volcano and they will stir in some embers. one waiter told us this is the hottest dish in india, and i don't know if that's true, but what he had just served us was easily one of the hottest dishes in washington.

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on wisconsin ave, at least, tell them you like your lamb as hot as a live volcano and they will stir in some embers. one waiter told us this is the hottest dish in india, and i don't know if that's true, but what he had just served us was easily one of the hottest dishes in washington.

This is absolutely true. I asked for lamb vindaloo "hot" at the Glover Park location and what came out was the hottest Indian dish I've ever eaten, including some I've had in India. It was delicious, but the heat was just this side of seriously painful.

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This is absolutely true.  I asked for lamb vindaloo "hot" at the Glover Park location and what came out was the hottest Indian dish I've ever eaten, including some I've had in India.  It was delicious,  but the heat was just this side of seriously painful.

I haven't had the amped-up version at Heritage, but a lamb vindaloo at Haandi in Falls Church remains the single hottest dish I've ever tasted. Inedible. Nobody could possibly enjoy this. Say what you want about habanero peppers or Thai or Korean, but the heat in a lamb vindaloo just seems to cling, permeate, and destroy. This isn't eating; this is masochism.

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I haven't had the amped-up version at Heritage, but a lamb vindaloo at Haandi in Falls Church remains the single hottest dish I've ever tasted.  Inedible.  Nobody could possibly enjoy this.  Say what you want about habanero peppers or Thai or Korean, but the heat in a lamb vindaloo just seems to cling, permeate, and destroy.  This isn't eating; this is masochism.

On some level you gotta love it though, don't you? I've had that dish, and the chicken Kadai at Bombay Curry Company does the same thing-- adrenalin rush I guess.

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note that if you go as a hungry two-top, request a larger table.

Or, if you fail to request a larger table, they may just wheel a serving table right up to yours, extending your table and allowing you to enjoy your many dishes without overloading your table!

This is what happened last night, when my dinner companion and I ordered enough food for four (and now I have leftovers for the rest of the week!) One highlight (because I can't remember every dish we had) was the stuffed bell peppers, which were a fantastic combination of slightly spicy filling, stuffed inside a barely grilled and still crisp and fresh-tasting green pepper. The textures and flavors complemented each other superbly, and the dish easily became a favorite for when I return. I was also introduced to the wonders that are Indian pickles. I'd always avoided them in the past (generally not liking the flavor of pickled things), but they added a great zest to the flavors of our lamb and prawn dishes.

And service, although a problem in the past, was actually quite good last night. Attentive without being overbearing, we were checked on enough to satisfy any need we had, but left alone enough to enjoy our feast.

The only downside to the evening was that I was too full to stop by Max's Ice Cream for a scoop before heading home...

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They deliver on their own, as well, or at least did so until recently. (They hated coming to Mount Pleasant, but did so after somecajoling). By far the most enjoyable way to eat their food -- their service being what it is -- and the best delivery Indian around.

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Thanks, Waitman. You just saved me $8 or $9. I'm home sick, flying solo and HUNGRY. I have already had Spices delivered this week so I'm pretty excited for Heritage. The guy who took my order was nicer than any of the servers have ever been.

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Just under $40 (including tip) got me a LOT of food. Delivery took just over an hour.

Feeling less than 100%, I wanted old favorites so I ordered samosas, chicken makhani, daal and garlic naan. I specified that I wanted only white meat for the chicken dish and fearing it might be a problem, offered up that if the chef weren't willing, he or she could sub paneer.

What did I get? Two separate small plastic containers of the murgh makhani; one of which held white meat and the other, dark. That was a bit odd. Tasting the sauce, I decided not to care because the stuff is GOOD. I'll eat both containers of food over time. Like I said, it was a lot of food.

I really like Heritage India's naan. Last night, it was slightly thicker and doughier than that served at Rasika or Indique. The daal were delicious, but a bit different than I expected in that mixed in with the lentils were another type of bean (it looked like small pintos almost). Tasted delicious.

Today's lunch is leftovers and I think the flavors of the makhani sauce are even better. Somehow I still have more food remaining at home for later.

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Just under $40 (including tip) got me a LOT of food. Delivery took just over an hour.

Feeling less than 100%, I wanted old favorites so I ordered samosas, chicken makhani, daal and garlic naan. I specified that I wanted only white meat for the chicken dish and fearing it might be a problem, offered up that if the chef weren't willing, he or she could sub paneer.

What did I get? Two separate small plastic containers of the murgh makhani; one of which held white meat and the other, dark. That was a bit odd. Tasting the sauce, I decided not to care because the stuff is GOOD. I'll eat both containers of food over time. Like I said, it was a lot of food.

I really like Heritage India's naan. Last night, it was slightly thicker and doughier than that served at Rasika or Indique. The daal were delicious, but a bit different than I expected in that mixed in with the lentils were another type of bean (it looked like small pintos almost). Tasted delicious.

Today's lunch is leftovers and I think the flavors of the makhani sauce are even better. Somehow I still have more food remaining at home for later.

Which Heritage did you order from? I live 18th&U-ish, so the Dupont Location would be doable, but from Glover Park, could be a stretch. Although if they did Mt. Pleasant, I could be in luck.

And how was the spice level of the makhani sauce? Every time I tell them I don't want it spicy, it still tastes like molten lava. Of course that doesn't stop me from shoveling it it because it's so damn tasty.

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I ordered from Glover Park. The makhani definitely had a kick (which I like), but I wouldn't call it spicy. Heritage India's version, though, has more of a hint of fire than Indique's. By today it had really mellowed out.

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More delivery from Heritage tonight. The makhani has me addicted; this time I had it with paneer. I may have trouble sleeping this evening due to my excitement over tomorrow's lunch of leftovers. :)

I also got shammi kebab, fritters made of lentils and lamb. I love lamb, I adore lentils, but I do not like shammi kebab. Not from Heritage India or elsewhere (at least thus far). It's the very musty flavor I don't like. And the dryness. Next time, it'll be seekh kebab which I always enjoy.

The rice is worth ordering although it does cost extra (I think it was $2 for quite a large portion, not one of those Chinese-sized boxes).

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Sometimes I get a little bored by heritage, because I feel like I have eaten just about everything on the menu about 10 times, except what comes out of the tandoor and most of the desserts, but the food at a recent meal was so good it was excitement enough I am hoping to recapture tonight. Eggplant in the baingan mirchi was firm, soft, sweet and plump in a sesame-pepper sauce delivering an unexpectedly assertive jolt of fire along with its tang of chilies. And the well-caramelized cubes of lamb in the yakhni gosht, cooling things down in a perfectly balanced yogurt-saffron sauce, were succulently tender and falling apart, rich and round in flavor, the best in meat.

I am recognized in this restaurant as a white tiger and have been treated cordially by the staff ever since I can remember, but even if you believe what you have erroneously heard about the lax and abusive service here, the chance of meeting up with food so good (and it doesn’t happen every night) is worth the risk of getting thuggishly booted after your meal down the long flight of stairs leading to the front door and into the cold street.

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I finally got a chance to hit up Heritage's Glover Park location for lunch on Sunday and I'm still drooling over the chicken tikka masala I had. Very tender and generous portions of chicken combined with the saffron rice that has the nuts in it (i forget what it's called) was a fantastic combo. The spiciness wasn't overwhelming either.

As for the service, it was maybe slightly inattentive, but I really didn't think it was exceptionally bad. Sure, the check came right after the plates were cleared, which was amusing, but then again, I don't really like to dawdle after a meal.

Either way, thumbs way up for food and a shrug of the shoulders to the service, since it didn't really bug.

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How do I love ghee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee daal and naan and paneer.

My stomach can reach, when feeling out of delivery range

For the ends of Hunger and a desire for Spice.

I forgive thee most

Serious breaches of etiquette.

I forgive thee when I call and the answer is "no delivery today"

I forgive thee response of "no paneer today." (but just barely)

I forgive thee when carry out means half an hour

Sitting on a hard wooden chair marked with a dangling price tag.

I eat thy seekh kebab with a love I seemed to lose

With Indique, ---I love thee with the garlic breath,

Worst of my whole life! --- and if DonRocks choose,

I shall but love thee better after dinner.

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On some level you gotta love it though, don't you? I've had that dish, and the chicken Kadai at Bombay Curry Company does the same thing-- adrenalin rush I guess.

Yeah I love vindaloo tho I haven't tried it at Haandi Falls Church. I've been there once and had a good meal so maybe next time I will order it.

Anyone tried "phaal" before? It's hotter than vindaloo - I tried it once based on reputation when I lived in London. Now THAT was masochism... even tho it was tasty. I quickly ordered a lassi...

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Finally got it right - ordered from the Glover Park location, and man, that was some tasty Indian! Haven't had Indian food that good in a long time, certainly not delivery. That Chicken Makhani is definitely laced with crack amongst the buttery goodness. And the Tikka Masala was smoky and complex, and the first time I'd ever been served chunks of tomato in the dish (which were delicious). Last time I ordered, I called the Dupont location - I won't make that mistake again! Difference is night and day. I wouldn't order from Heritage unless it's Glover Park. Only qualm is that it's expensive, but the quality is there.

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Last time I ordered, I called the Dupont location - I won't make that mistake again!

[You wouldn't have made it before, had you consulted the Dining Guide. B)]

Oh reeally, well I just consulted the Dining Guide, and Heritage isn't even on it... Did you mean the personified Dining Guide? :angry:

Click :P

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We used to go to heritage in glover park when it first opened, and it was excellent all around. We stopped going several years ago because the service had gotten annoying (e.g., they went overboard in serving your food on your plate). Last night we decided to go back, and had an excellent meal with excellent service.

We started with the "starter platter," which we thought was going to be big, but it's small enough that it could be ordered own its own -- a mini samosa, a chicken chatt, vegetable fritter, and shrimp salad. Probably better options to choose...

We stuck to veggie for entries, getting the queen's feast which had four dishes. The paneer makhni and the palak makai were outstanding. We added the dhingri mattar, a mushroom and pea curry that had a rich smoky flavor, and was also outstanding.

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Since moving downtown a month ago, I have been suffering from Heritage India - Glover Park withdrawal. Today I broke down and ordered from the Dupont location.

I was pleasantly surprised for the most part. Although the dishes were most definitely not identical to those at Heritage-Glover, they were mostly comparable and for tonight's dinner delivery, it sufficed. The differences were pretty manageable. My paneer makhani wasn't spiced as subtly; its peppery-ness was more of the smack-me-over-the-head variety than the slow burn I have found at Glover. I probably wouldn't order Dupont's seekh kebab again. The lamb was ground too finely so the patties had a mealy texture. But the bread and rice were fine.

Oh, and the delivery guy didn't try to hug me, which is a big plus. :mellow:

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Scott and I slipped out of the breadsoda opening for a lovely dinner last night at Heritage India with Waitman and Mrs. B. We started with a round of samosas, pappadum, aloo tak, and something else...maybe the lentil dumplings?...anyway, all were satifying. Moved on to tandoor prawns, chicken tikka masala, pilau, and the crisp okra with onions and mango powder, accompanied by onion kulcha, garlic naan, assorted chutneys, and raita. Everything was just delicious, particularly the prawns and breads. This is some of the best Indian food in the city, if not the best, and I look forward to working right down the street.

We had no idea going in, but Monday is half-priced wine night, and we used the opportunity to order a couple of bottles of a Cotes du Rhone blanc that held it's own amidst the spices. Dinner for four plus two bottles of wine came to a ridiculous $120-something before tip. We have certainly spent more than that for just the two of us, on lesser food. Service was fine, and the front dining room offers a wonderful view; it was a treat to sit perched high above Glover Park and watch the moon rise over the city.

Thanks to Stephanie for the idea, and Charles for twisting my arm into going. :lol:

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For the last six months, I have been trying to believe that there's minimal difference between the Glover Park and Dupont Circle locations. Tonight, my palate is not fooled. :lol:

Tonight, every element is just...less than. A bite of paneer, if taken without a lot of its too-smoky tomato cream sauce, rice and garlic naan, is flavorless and rubbery. The aforementioned naan is bland.

The scariest part of all is seekh kebab that refuses to be broken into bite size pieces by my fork. I resorted to stabbing the thing biting off pieces that way. Fortunately I'm home alone and there's no one to comment on sloppy manners. In the container alongside the three cylinders of meat is, inexplicably, mixed greens straight from a bag (frisee??). Glover gives you four kebabs, by the way, not three.

Portions, at least as delivered, are smaller than that from Glover. And I hate their delivery containers!! Whereas Glover carefully separates its components into good-sized containers - paneer makhani here, rice there - Dupont uses a snap top container with sections like a cafeteria tray. Sauce sloshes over the rice, leaving what would be a great lunch, soggy. The portion was too small to carry to make the effort to take it to work anyway, I suppose. And they always put some piece of whatever green vegetable is lying around atop the rice. Today is was about six snow peas. Other nights it a large hunk of broccoli. Straight to the garbage.

*sigh*

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I'm wondering if Heritage (Glover) is giving up the little-used bar/lounge space just above street level. Tonight it was dark and sort of cordoned off. I hope business is good in general though. It was very, very quiet when I picked up my carry out order (still, it was 9 on a Monday night).

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I'm wondering if Heritage (Glover) is giving up the little-used bar/lounge space just above street level. Tonight it was dark and sort of cordoned off. I hope business is good in general though. It was very, very quiet when I picked up my carry out order (still, it was 9 on a Monday night).
I've never actually seen anyone in there, except me waiting for carry-out.
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I've never actually seen anyone in there, except me waiting for carry-out.

they tried to add a bazaar to the area, but it has run out of steam and i have seen a few things for sale upstairs in the dining room. i would consider buying some of them if i had any space to put them.

business seemed fairly steady on saturday night, when the bar area was closed as well. why pay someone to walk up and down the stairs all night if there aren't that many reservations. we never reserve a table and rarely have run into a full restaurant.

there was some extra fire in the samosas last weekend, and just about everything else, which i regard as a healthy sign. the okra was at its best, strewn with ginger. i have only found it husky once. i guess we must like lamb two-ways because we order the rara gosht more often than not. the eggplants are the fieriest of the vegetables.

it's a fairly big place, but i think heritage deserves to be fuller than it has been lately.

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