Cinnamon Indian Cuisine
Does anyone ever say “Hey let’s go out for a great Indian meal” and expect the guests to head to Rhinebeck? Well, you should. Because Cinnamon, in the heart of Rhinebeck, has some of the best and most diverse South Asian food we have found anywhere.
On the heels of an evening at Oblong Books where I participated in a well-organized event featuring Hillary Clinton signing her “What Happened” book (personal note: she’s gracious, classy, and warm), I hooked up with two friends and headed to Cinnamon for dinner. It didn’t hurt that it was a simply gorgeous night in Rhinebeck: cold, crisp, beautifully lit after the Sinterklaas weekend, but just entering Cinnamon and inhaling the spices that emanated from the kitchen added to the sweetness of the night. I got there first (friends were still in line for Hillary) and so waited with a lovely glass of pinot noir from their limited but well selected bar. Once we all settled in, we dove into the menu.
We were all starving, so we shared two appetizers: Palak Chaat (Contemporary Dish (9) crisp fried spinach leaves topped with sev (crisp noodles), chopped onions and fresh tomatoes drizzled with cilantro & mint chutney, tamarind sauce, and yogurt) and Lasuni Gobi (Chinese Influence (9) crispy cauliflower with special tomato sauce.) Frankly, we could have stopped there. The portions were generous and both vegetarian choices were perfectly spiced and prepared. The Palak was especially creative as it seemed to be fried without any oil whatsoever and seemed to float on my tongue.
From there we chose three different entrees to share: Chicken Tikka, Lamb Biryani, and Shrimp Mapas. They proved to complement each other beautifully as the chicken was tandoori style (i.e. dry rubbed after a 24 hour marinade), the biryani was casserole style with rice and spices, and the shrimp was in a rich tomato and spice sauce. Each was accompanied by an individual bowl of jasmine rice. And we indulged in goat cheese naam with no regrets whatsoever.
We made quick work of our food (did I mention we arrived hungry) and yet there was enough for one of us to take leftovers home for lunch the next day. We passed on dessert although their menu features lovely selections including fruit sorbets, ice creams, and rice pudding.
If the food wasn’t reason enough to return, the service was. The bartender came over to my table when he spotted me looking around upon being seated; the waitress who served us was responsive, warm, and helpful about menu selections. She kept an eye on us, realizing we wanted to talk a bit, and didn’t rush our order. The bill was brought promptly.
I’ve been recommending Cinnamon to houseguests since we bought our house in 2015, and the restaurant keeps getting better and better. They have recently launched The Spice Room upstairs from the restaurant-a club-like space serving drinks and appetizers operating Thursday-Saturday 4 pm-12 am. I’m eager to try that on an evening when I don’t have to drive home!
Know Before You Go:
This is one of the few Rhinebeck restaurants that accepts online reservations. You can also call, and it’s best to book in advance weekends off-season and every night during the summer.
If you’re dining alone, consider the large table on the left as you enter. It’s a great way to meet people and always has a great vibe going on.
Don’t be afraid to speak up about spice level if you’re nervous about Indian food. They are very accommodating.
Consider eating here if you truly want to have a conversation with your dining companion(s). It has a very reasonable noise level.
They have take out!!
CINAMMON INDIAN CUISINE
51 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Hours of operation:
Brunch: Saturday – Sunday 11:30am to 3pm
Sunday Buffet: 5pm to 9pm
Lunch: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday:
11:30am to 2:30pm
Dinnner: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 5pm to 10pm
Friday: 5pm to 10:30pm