There are a few places in the Greater Hartford area that can scratch the itch when it comes to Indian food. Until recently, the closest was about 20 minutes away. But now, there is UTSAV.
Alternatively translated by Indian friends as “festival” and “procession,” UTSAV heralds the arrival of great Indian food in Vernon, CT, mere minutes from where I live and even closer to my friend Dan. UTSAV only recently replaced a truly shocking Indian restaurant that occupied the same storefront. The bitter taste left in my mouth by this predecessor had me worried about UTSAV as well, but I needn’t have feared. Some good word-of-mouth buzz was enough for me to give it a chance, and I inhaled a generous portion of yummy chicken tikka masala, the dish by which all Indian restaurants in Connecticut and America are judged.
I’ve returned twice since then to sample the delights of the all-you-can-eat weekend buffet. Savory tureens of curry, rice and lentil dishes tempted me back for seconds, thirds and, against my better judgement, fourths. Among the highlights are the lamb and spinach curries, as well as a garlic-infused cauliflower dish described by local food critic Marta Raviele described as “the General Tsao of Indian food.”
Add friendly service and extra touches like a complementary, sizzling griddle of Tandoori chicken, and you’ve got everything you want in an Indian restaurant near Hartford, CT. I will surely be returning, hungry for more.