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Mint Leaf's most distinctive offerings are its dosas: thin, crisp pancakes made from ground fermented lentils and rice that come folded around a choice of stuffers such as masala lamb, spicy chicken, or the traditional potatoes and onions -- a knish with chutzpah (and tasty). Other starters include crisply fried keema samosas crammed with semi-piquant minced lamb, tender tandoor-roasted hunks of boneless baby chicken meat (murg tandoori), and chaats (street foods) such as bheel poori, a snack-like potpourri of puffed rice, crushed biscuits, potatoes, onions, and peanuts lightly dressed in tangy chutneys. Entrées divide into seafood, chicken, lamb, rice, and vegetarian, the last encompassing some of the most satisfying dishes. Try dal makhani: black lentils cooked overnight and finished with caramelized onions and cream, all steeped in a deep, slow heat that creeps into the throat a few seconds after swallowing. Lamb rogan josh is stewed in a curried tomato sauce of properly potent piquancy; swipe it up with Mint Leaf's breads -- arguably the best in town -- and wash it down with a Kingfisher beer ($4.95). The usual medley of phyllo-wrapped desserts is on hand, as well as butter-laden gajjar ka halwa, aptly referred to as "warm carrot fudge," and shrikand, saffron-and-sugar-suffused yogurt custard. Mint Leaf doesn't cost a mint; the prices are in line with other local places of its genre. That said, it is expensive for Indian food; most nonvegetarian entrées run $16 to $20, plus add breads, appetizers, and a plate of steamed basmati rice ($3.50).
Miami Spice, now in its 11th year, has grown to become one of the most popular events of the year. For two months, its a foodie's dream -- South Beach Wine & Food Festival at Festival Flea Market ... More »
A cacophony of chatter and clatter greets diners as they enter Mint Leaf, which has sprouted in the spot once occupied by Darbar Indian Restaurant and, most recently, by Restaurant Brana. The din seems surprisingly strong for such a modestly... More »
So Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Shilpa Shetty, and Ravi Shankar Jr. are marooned on a desert island. No wait, sorry — they are in Coral Gables, and the three of them walk into the new Mint Leaf restaurant. After being seated and starting off with freshly squeezed fruit juices and a basket of traditional tandoor-baked breads, the prime minister taps Shilpa on the shoulder and asks whether she agrees that Mint Leaf's gosht biryani tastes just like it does back home. "Don't touch me," she replies, before adding that although she liked the gosht, her preference was for the South Indian specialty of dosa, a crêpe made from lentils and fermented rice that gets wrapped around various savory fillings. Shankar offers that the original London Mint Leaf has been known for its dosas since opening in 1938. "Besides, who else around here makes shrikand?" he adds, this being a thick yogurt cheese infused with saffron and topped with fruit and chopped nuts. "And where else can you get main courses this good, with so many vegetarian choices, for under $20?" Shilpa and Shetty laugh, finding the notion of monetary concerns rather funny. Shankar wonders how he got roped into dinner with these two, and decides to return to Mint Leaf for lunch the next day without them.
So Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Shilpa Shetty, and Ravi Shankar Jr. are marooned on a desert island. No wait, sorry -- they are in Coral Gables, and the three of them walk into the new Mint Leaf restaurant. After being seated and starting off with freshly squeezed fruit juices and a basket of traditional tandoor-baked breads, the prime minister taps Shilpa on the shoulder and asks whether she agrees that Mint Leaf's gosht biryani tastes just like it does back home. "Don't touch me,"... More »
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