“It’s nice to have some spice in town!” That sentiment of Gary Vuchinich of Cloverdale was echoed by nearly everyone at the Sunday open house of Healdsburg’s newest – and only – Indian restaurant.
Located in the Tuscan-style complex at the southeast corner of Healdsburg Avenue and the Dry Creek / March Avenue intersection (next to the ), the newly opened Sizzling Tandoor features a North Indian menu familiar to customers of the Mendocino Avenue flagship restaurant in Santa Rosa.
Samosas, pakoras, Mulligatawanay soup and Tandoori – the clay oven specialty of North India – are but a few of the dishes served and spiced-to-order by owner Vinay Patel, the “curry doc,” and his family and crew.
A customized Indian Curried entrée can be created to order from the menu’s choices, and vegetarian meals are available as well.
Chef Deep Baidhya runs the kitchen, his attractive wife Sujata is one of several wait staff, and the whole restaurant seems is both family-run and family friendly.
On Sunday afternoon, Patel and family welcomed familiar friends and curious newcomers to the restaurant’s open house. Two buffet tables were laden with family-style specialties from the kitchen, while Sujata acted as hostess and Melissa Mohold-Siebert of Forty-Seven Friends winery introduced the white and red blends that will be the new restaurant’s house wines.
Two draft beers are on tap as well, a house IPA and Kingfisher lager from India.
Patel has been looking for a Healdsburg location for some time, and the site where a Quiznos sandwich shop used to be – though it’s been closed for almost two years – seems perfect, at a busy intersection but not overwhelmed by the Plaza restaurant scene.
The layout is a little unusual, with two medium-sized dining rooms adjacent to one another, and (unfortunately) no room for the belly dancers who sometimes entertain diners at the Santa Rosa location.
But there will be cooking classes, Patel promises, and they sell their own spice mixes for cooking or chai on site. And carry-out meals are sure to be popular in the new restaurant’s north Healdsburg neighborhood.
The Sizzling Tandoor will be open daily except Sunday for lunches and dinner, 11:30 – 9 p.m.; Sunday hours are 5 – 9 for now, although that may change. The menu can be found online at www.sizzlingtandoor.com.
“Culinary Nirvana” is the restaurant’s theme, as it is in Santa Rosa, and now Nirvana can be found in Healdsburg.