Derived from the Hindi word for “passion,” Junoon, opening December 8 off Madison Square Park, unites several veterans of New York’s Indian-food circuit: owner Rajesh Bhardwaj, who co-founded Café Spice; chef de cuisine Walter D’Rozario, who’s circulated through Bay Leaf, Utsav, Spice Fusion, and Dévi; and executive chef Vikas Khanna, a veteran of Salaam Bombay but perhaps best known for reviving (albeit briefly) a theater-district disaster on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.
At Junoon, Khanna’s modern-Indian menu features such refined fare as fennel-glazed lobster tandoori and venison tikka, and also showcases the subcontinent’s five essential cooking techniques by labeling each entrée with its cooking method — sigri (open fire pit), patthar (stone), tawa (griddle), and so on. The elaborate design incorporates a sculpted black-limestone façade, a 200-year-old wooden arch from an Indian palace, and a temperature-controlled, glass-partitioned spice room, where the house blends will be ground daily.
Junoon, 27 W. 24th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-490-2100