In 1998, Floyd Cardoz shook up the New York City dining scene when he opened Table with Danny Meyer and the Union Square Hospitality Group. Cardoz made his mark there for more than 10 years before moving on to North End Grill and White Street. Now, after having spent time with Mumbai running his acclaimed Bombay Canteen there, he is opening Paowalla this week on the western edge of SoHo.
Paowalla, which means a person employed to make or deliver bread, is part Portuguese and Sanskrit. However, this is not a continuation of the Bread Bar that existed at Tabla. While this new restaurant will bring back some familiar favorites, it is largely an attempt to update New York’s comprehension of Indian cuisine, and reflect who Cardoz is as a chef today. According to Cardoz, America is still learning Indian cuisine, and suggests it is in a rut like “where Italian food was before Mario Batali did Babbo.”
The menu consists of items pulled from India’s diverse regional cuisine; pork ribs vindaloo from Goa, banana leaf-wrapped skate from Kerala, and roast goat fro Hyderabad. The restaurant will center on a large wood-fired oven, with which the chef will bake a range of naan varieties, Cheddar cheese-stuffed Kulcha, and Portuguese sandwich pao buns.
New York City has seen an expansion of late in Indian cuisine: Indian Accent opened in Midtown, Pondicheri in NoMad just last week, Babu Ji on the Lower East Side, and Tapestry in the West Village.
To read more about Floyd Cardoz’ project, click here.