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If you’re looking for a glamorous atmosphere, hip music, and a social scene, then Meera is not for you. If you are however, looking for arguably the best Indian food in Fairfield County, which should of course be the main objective, then Meera is a treasure just waiting to serve you its tasty gold. Despite the come-and-go trendy Indian restaurants that have opened and closed their doors in the area, Meera and its prime downtown location has withstood competition by staying true to the unpretentious, authentic experience it has offered loyal diners for well over a decade.
The very Indian-themed décor – think Hindi paintings, bronze ornaments and statue elephants galore – is an attempt to transport customers from Stamford, CT to India, but it is actually the perfectly spiced, aromatic dishes that succeed in doing just that. For inexperienced first-timers, the polite, eager waiters are more than willing to give confused customers a not-so-very-intimidating crash course in Indian cuisine. If however, you’re looking to satisfy your “spicetooth,” the tandoori cook, who can be seen smiling and cooking up a storm in the windows, will be more than obliged.
Meera is family-friendly and groups of diners, young and old, Indian and non-Indian, are frequenters since everyone usually shares multiple dishes. Meera’s palak paneer, spiced Indian spinach with cubes of mild paneer cheese, is absolutely outstanding and far from the bland concoction other restaurants pass off as authentic. Meera is particularly strong in its other vegetable dishes including channa masala, spicy chickpeas and potatoes in a tomato-based sauce, malai kofta, vegetable dumplings cooked in a sweet, yet kicked up coconut and almond sauce, and dal, the greatest use of lentil beans yet.
Another hit is the tangy, smoky, and succulent tandoori chicken, which arrives tableside on a flaming dish served with onions. A half order can be requested for date night or a full order for a larger or hungrier party. Chicken tikka masala is also a great starting point for newcomers and children, because it is flavorful but not too exotic. Lamb lovers will be ranting and raving about the mouth-watering saag lamb. Meera also offers fish and shrimp dishes, but nothing extraordinary, although the tandoori shrimp are pretty tasty if they’re not cooked too much.
Like peanut butter and jelly, nothing complements curry-based food better than rice. White rice can be ordered, but if you’re feeling adventurous enough, the richly flavored shrimp briyani is worth a try. It can be under-spiced, so request that it be made extra spicy. Meera also has an assortment of particularly scrumptious nan, traditional flatbread, which can be ordered plain or stuffed and spiced. The keema nan stuffed with lamb and the spinach nan are wonderful for sopping up curry sauces and are a must-have.
Indian desserts require a bit of an acquired taste, but a burning hot mouth can be soothed by rose ice cream (I wouldn’t recommend the mango sorbet) or kulfi, Indian ice cream made with evaporated milk. While desserts may not their specialty, I doubt very many people have any more room in their full stomachs or stretched-out jeans (yes, it’s casual, no reservations necessary). More than anything, I recommend trying a bit of everything and ordering too much because with all that leftover tandoori chicken, it’ll be like the day after Thanksgiving – Indian style.
227 Summer Street,
Stamford (between Broad and Park).