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Delhi Belly starting to rumble in Sonoma

On my third visit to the soon-to-open Delhi Belly Indian Bistro on Broadway (previous home to Rudy’s, Café 522, and Meritage), I found an excited crew and a couple of the owners, all just poised and waiting for approval from City Hall. Same lyrics, old song.

Four native Indian chefs practiced without food in spic-and-span brand new pots (some with price tags still affixed), and one of the co-owners proudly showed me the new tandoori oven, covered with orange mosaic tiles, that they had built for this location. No fat is used in tandoori cooking. And the many colorful parasols hanging upside down from the ceiling bring good luck and protect the whole restaurant. Hopefully they will also help the acoustics in the famously noisy dining room.

According to co-owner Raj Singh, he and his friend Bhupender Singh decided to create restaurants while they reminisced about feasts of their childhood at home and in the streets of their native Delhi, deciding to bring the same dishes “with a modern twist” to the American public. Delhi Belly will be their fourth restaurant in the Bay Area.

Bhupender will serve as chef, with 20 years experience cooking in restaurants, beginning at Bukhara restaurant in New Delhi, India which, Raj says, “has been rated by Restaurant magazine as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world.

Chef Bhupender has opened five successful restaurants in and around Monterey and is co-owner of Ambrosia India Bistro and owner of Avatar Indian Grill.

Watch for classics plus new twists on classics, such as kale fritters, organic avocado chaat, and lamb kebabs stuffed with goat cheese, arugula fig salad, and Mulligatawny soup for starters

There is a whole vegetarian section of the menu including several vegetarian entrées include panch dal, palak paneer, Chana Masala, seasonal okra with tomato and onion, Aloo Gobi cauliflower and potato sautéed with turmeric, cumin and tomato, vegetable coconut curry, and farmer’s cheese dumplings with spinach. Meat fans will enjoy several chicken, lamb and seafood entrees including butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, curries, slow cooked lamb shanks, and halibut cooked in coconut milk and curry. Prices were not available at press time.

Give them a few days or a week after the doors open, whenever the city blesses them with their official go-ahead.

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