FLORIDA WEEKLY STAFF (Sep. 01, 2022)
It’s been long awaited by fans of Indian cuisine.
Ela Curry Kitchen, chef Pushkar Marathe and partner Andy Dugard’s second restaurant, was set to open Aug. 30.
The restaurant, in The Shops of Donald Ross Village, will bring traditional Indian cuisine to space Coolinary Café vacated when it moved a few doors east.
Chef Marathe has been incorporating East Indian influences into his cooking since he opened Stage Kitchen & Bar in Palm Beach Gardens.
“Ela draws on all my experiences growing up in India and inspirations from family and friends, most significantly the traditional cooking of my mother and family,” Chef Marathe said in a statement. “Many of the dishes we are serving are prepared using techniques I learned from my mom, one of the best Indian cooks I know. This project is very close to my heart.”
The men initially had hoped to open a traditional Indian restaurant in the space that’s now Stage.
“We really liked the building, we really liked the landlord who didn’t think the area was ready for an Indian restaurant, so Stage Kitchen & Bar was born,” Mr. Dugard said in the statement. “Fast forward a bit, we became frequent diners at Tim’s (Lipman) Coolinary Café, which we love. When we learned they were moving, we knew we had a home for Ela Curry Kitchen.”
The chef said he follows the traditional way of serving the food, as well as preparing it — he uses the traditional thali, where multiple courses are presented on one platter.
As for that food, expect “chaate,” with Indian street snacks as pani puri, with beet, chickpea, tamarind and green juice, lentil fritters, or dahi bhalle, served with yogurt and tamarind chutney, a selection of curries, including his popular butter chicken, served memorably at Stage Kitchen.
And a selection of “not curries,” with masala lamb chops, salmon and tandoori chicken, as well as vegetarian options.
Chef Marathe and Mr. Dugard have partnered again with Bootleg Greg Cocktail Co. to develop the cocktail program for Ela, which will initially feature “Skandilicious” Shandy, Twisted Trunk Kolsch infused with fresh strawberry lemonade and fermented sake spirit; “Endless Weekend” Mojito, carbonated blackberry Soto Junmai sake with mint, basil, freshly squeezed lime juice, and cane sugar; and “Butterfly Effect” Mocktail, butterfly pea flower-flavored carbonated lemonade.
Beer from local partners Twisted Trunk Brewery and Civil Society Brewery will be offered, as well as Indian beers Taj Mahal and Kingfisher.
Interior Designer Anna Woodman, who designed Stage Kitchen & Bar in 2020, created a space with warm white walls, terrazzo dining tables and seating for 28 in classic black and cane chairs create a clean palette for the vibrant décor. The prominent eat-at bar is a rich green, inspired by the restaurant’s namesake spice (“Ela” is Sanskrit for “cardamom”) and is flanked by 15 counter seats overlooking the open kitchen. Outside, seating for 12 provides a casual setting for diners choosing to go al fresco.
Ela Curry Kitchen will serve dinner 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with lunch service coming in the fall. It’s at 4650 Donald Ross Road, Suite 110, Palm Beach Gardens; www.elacurrykitchen.com.
About Anna Woodman Interior Design
Anna Woodman Interior Design (formerly Anna Schmidt Interior Design) is a professional interior design firm with an exceptional reputation built over the years through the design of one-of-a-kind spaces and strong client relationships. Established in 2003 and based in Jupiter, Fla., the firm has worked extensively with nationwide brands, franchises and upscale independent restaurants throughout the country, as well as many corporate and commercial spaces. For more information, visit annawoodmaninteriordesign.com or call (407) 399-6808.