An appetizer, Art of Spice - Special Shrimp, was an over-the-top preparation pairing crunchy spiced shellfish with a savory tomato chutney and julienned sweet peppers.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
When the restaurant where we planned to have dinner was closed for a private party, I immediately thought of the great meal we enjoyed at Art of Spice in August.
On Saturday night, our second visit to the Hackensack restaurant was as rewarding as the first -- with delicious seafood and vegetables prepared with an array of spices you find only in the Asian Indian kitchen.
We ordered two appetizers and an entree, which came with rice, but couldn't finish our food.
Asking for a second basket of complimentary papadum with two chutneys may have had something to do with it.
Dinner for two
Then, we had Palak Daal ($11), a thick vegetarian stew of spinach and yellow lentils, served with basmati rice.
Dried red peppers gave the dish a delayed spicy kick, and if you like your food even hotter, you can eat them.
We also liked our Mango Lassis, a sweetened fruit-and-yogurt drink ($4 each).
More to exlore
There are other dishes we haven't explored, including Tandoori Specialties and Indo-Chinese food.
The menu also lists soups, Indian breads and desserts.
I've driven by Regina's Steakhouse & Grill in Teaneck for 10 years, and never went in.
But in early October, I purchased an Amazon Local voucher worth $80 in food and drink ($40).
I tried to make a reservation for dinner on a Saturday a few weeks ago, but was told the restaurant was closed for a private party.
This past weekend, we just drove there, and were shut out again by another private party.
Looks like I'm going to ask Amazon Local for a refund.
At Art of Spice, Palak Daal is a vegetarian entree of spinach and yellow lentil cooked with onion, tomatoes and cumin, and served with basmati rice ($11). We liked the delayed heat from dried red peppers.
Papri Chaat is a cold starter of crisps topped with whole chickpeas, yogurt and tamarind, accented with fresh cilantro ($7).
A basket of complimentary papadum is served with two chutneys, savory tamarind and spicy green chili with mint.
The cavernous space on Main Street in Hackensack can seem empty even when a half-dozen tables are occupied.
Across the street, an apartment construction project, now a huge hole in the ground, has reduced the number of metered parking spaces available to customers.
Art of Spice, 159 Main St., Hackensack; 201-342-3444. Open for lunch and dinner, but closes between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., and all day on Mondays.
BYO, metered street parking and some parking in rear off of State Street. Delivery available.