Derived from the Hindi word for passion, Junoon, opening December 8 off Madison Square Park, unites several veterans of New Yorks Indian-food circuit: owner Rajesh Bhardwaj, who co-founded Café Spice; chef de cuisine Walter DRozario, whos 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 Ramsays Kitchen Nightmares.
At Junoon, Khannas modern-Indian menu features such refined fare as fennel-glazed lobster tandoori and venison tikka, and also showcases the subcontinents 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