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« Some Christmas Humor | Main | Restaurant Week - The Master List »

Sun, Dec 26 2004 at 11:22 AM

Heritage India - Dupont

Posted by Jason, Dec 26, 2004

So far, I've been to the Dupont location of Heritage India twice. Both times I've had some excellent Indian food that I've wanted to write about since the first time I went there a few weeks ago. I just haven't had any time.

To start with, the Dupont location of Heritage is not just another location for Heritage India with the same menu. The first way it is different is with the menu which features a tapas menu that takes up an entire page. Also, some of the entrees are different. In particular, there are a few prawn dishes, a couple new curries and kabobs. Our first night there, we were having a drink at the bar after our meal was over, and we saw the manager having the jumbo tandoori prawns. I haven't been brave enough to try them yet, but they're literally the size of a small lobster. The bartender said it was one of the restaurants specialties.

The second way this location of Heritage India is different from the others is in the area of service. As most of you know, and have commented, the service at the Glover Park location of Heritage India is lacking in some ways. It's almost like they know their food is good so they don't feel like they have to provide good service to go along with it. At the Dupont location, however, the wait staff is gracious and friendly. Your food comes out quick and if they make a mistake, they are quick to fix it. I've heard a few stories from people about rude service from the Glover Park location and I've experienced some myself. But, it's Heritage India and the food is awesome so we all continue to go back...

Also, the Dupont location has a drink menu...but I'd stay away from it. The drinks on it are entirely too sweet. Maybe they thought they needed to make the drinks sweet to compliment the spicy food, I don't know. Either way they're bad. I'm sure they added the drink menu to compete with Indique's drink menu, but there is some definite room for improvement (like the addition of a mango lassi drink like the one I had at Tallula a few weeks ago).

The first time Amy and I went to the Dupont location, we stayed away from any entrees and ordered competely off their tapas menu. The tapas menu features some dishes that I've only been able to get at the Indian Street Food Event earlier this year at Passage to India -- and some more. To start with, they have Pav Bhaji (spelled Pav Bhaji on the menu, but I swore it was spelled Pau Bhaji, but after searching online, it looks like it IS called pav bhaji). It's a spicy vegetable curry served on a few dinner rolls or hamburger buns. We've had this both times we've gone and it was nice and spicy both times. Also, we had some channa masala. It was served identically to the pav bhaji on dinner rolls - It was plenty spicy as well. Let's see, what else did we have...Oh right, the Frankie. The Frankie is much like a wrap that you would see at any chain restaurant around here, but it is made with Indian flat bread, peppers, onions, and Indian cheese, and then grilled. Very Good! It's also available with chicken I believe. Also, we had a spicy chicken curry atop of a polenta cake of all things. This is an interesting idea, and I see that they're working in a little fusion cooking here. The chicken curry is more like a spicy butter chicken than anything else and you can see the red chili floating in the sauce. It actually was pretty spicy and lit us up a bit. "Keep the water coming please!" Finally we ordered some papri chaat. This is something that you can get at Passage to India and Indique. I only discovered this dish at the Indian Street Food Event and have been ordering it at every restaurant I see it at since. You really can't go wrong with this dish unless you leave it sitting around and let it get soggy, but it has tasted pretty much the same anywhere I've ordered it.

If you stick to just ordering tapas, you can get away with a fairly reasonably priced trip to Heritage India - A nice change of pace from our past $100 or more checks. If I remember correctly, our the bill for our first trip ran us about $60 for two glasses of wine and 5 tapas. The tapas all run about $4 to $10. Heritage India (Dupont location only) also runs a special from 5 pm to 7 pm where the tapas are half price with drink specials as well.

Our second trip we actually ordered some entrees and started with some pav bhaji and some papri chaat as well. I tried moving away from ordering curries again and ordered the tandoori rockfish kabab. Unlike the Glover Park location, all entrees at the Dupont Circle location actually come with rice and daal now, a very welcome change in my opinion. (Of course they are probably just charging another dollar or two on every entree to make up for it.)  Any had her usual saag paneer and she loved it as usual. Also, my kabob was pretty good. In general, I like fish cooked more on the medium/medium rare side than well done, and the rockfish on this kabab was pretty well done. I guess there is not much of a choice when you are cooking a small amount of fish in a tandoor oven though. On a whole, most dishes at the Dupont location are, by default, spicier than those at the Glover Park location. This is a welcome change because I would always have to ask for the chef to make my food a little spicier at the Glover Park location. Our second trip's bill ran us about $85 and included a bottle of wine, two orders of bread, two entrees, two appetizers, and an order of rice pudding.

So my final judgment is that the Dupont location of Heritage India is a welcome addition to the DC Indian food scene. All I need now is an Indian restaurant to open within walking distance of my place I'll be all set.

Heritage India - Dupont Location
1337 Connecticut Ave
Washington, DC
(202) 331-1414
Map

Glover Park Location
2400 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC
(202) 333-3120
Map

Valet Parking: Yes
Dress Code: Casual ( little more on the business casual side though, especially at the Glover Park location)
I'm trying to find the Dupont Locations hours of operation. I will post them when I find them.
Reservations: Taken

Categories: Dupont Circle, Indian, Restaurant Reviews, Tapas
Link To This Post

timothy

Don Foodies,

For new years day, I thought I would take one of your suggestions in a restaurant and head to Heritage India in Dupont Circle for dinner.

When my g/f and I arrived, we were asked if we had reservation, of course we said no, but we were seated anyways. It was about 915pm, and the place was about a quarter full. We were seated in an area with other patrons, about 2 minutes, someone came by and lit our lamp and then left. At this time, still no one said anything, like welcome, would you like anything to drink... nothing. About 5 minutes after we first were seated, another couple was sat at the table one over from us. Within two minutes, someone also came by and lit their lamp and actually welcomed them, and asked for their drink order. Wait staff actually came by and gave them water too.

Overall, we waited 10 minutes, nobody came to us, and we decided to leave. We told the hostess that we were leaving and why, she sort of apologize, but really seemed to not care.

Doing the basic greeting and welcoming is all I ask for; it shouldn't take 10 minutes, I shouldn't have to go ask someone for assistance. I figured, they don't want our money or business, and that's ok.

It's a shame. But with life, maybe I just was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

(Suggestions, new restaurant in the Dupont Circle area, 21 P Restaurant (21st & P St NW)... menu online looks fairly promising, my g/f and I are looking forward to going, and if you go, look forward to reading your comments.)

Jason

It's soooo frustrating when that happens. I'm especially disappointed to hear that the hostess was so nonchalant about it. So far, that hasn't happened to me there. This seems to happen at every restaurant once in a while, and so far this is the first I've heard about it from Heritage's Dupont location. Having once worked as a waiter myself, I know that sometimes wait staff get mixed up on which tables are theirs. Either that or someone was out having a smoke break. Our first time there, we found ourselves waiting quite a while for our check to come, but that was the only problem as far as service goes.

timothy

Yes, being a server also, I can guessimate what could have happened, but like I said, the restaurant was not busy, I saw 2 servers and about 3 wait staff individuals and a bartender... so I can't understand what could happen.

I travel a bit too much, when I do go out to eat, I tend to sit at the bar, as I think I get better service. Next time, I think we'll try to sit at the bar, as I was looking forward to the Sea Bass. I also agree, this probably doesn't happen very often...

We ended up finding Famous Luigi's on 19th St NW. A bit off the beaten path, but suprisingly good. Seems family owned and operated. Simple service, good portions, reasonable prices and tasty Italian dishes.

Jason

Ahhh. Famous Luigi's. I've heard many good stories about that place. I still have to try them out.

JG

Heritage has some of the best Indian food I have had outside of India or East Africa. They know how to make it the right way. Try Amma's Vegetarian Kitchen in georgetown for some comparably authentic South Indian veggie food.

Melissa

A friend and I went to Heritage in Dupont on Wednesday. I was hoping that the service would be good, but I was dissapointed. The food was extremely good, but the service was terrible. My friend ordered a beer and I had some tea. When our food came out, I asked for a beer. I am used to being carded, so I don't mind. The waiter then asked for a second form of ID with my signature on it. I told him that all I had with a picture and signature was my college ID which is very old. He huffed away and I did get a beer. My friend had to stop our waiter and ask for another beer. The waited really never paid attention to us until the bill came out and then he waited by our table. He also made a snide comment about getting an ambulance for me because I was very cold when we first sat down. If he would have laughed when he said it, I probably wouldn't have cared. I'm sure we'll go back, but I will not sit in his section again.

Jason

Bad service can always ruin a meal in the worst way. Rather than being able to keep your attention on the food, you are constantly worrying about the service and tracking down your server. I wish the people at Heritage India would fix this.

nka

I like Heritage India. I've been to most of the Indian resaurants in DC and Maryland and I still think Heritage India has some of the best Indian food. Their Bindhi (okra) is my favorite thing on the menu!! But I also love Bombay Bistro in Rockville, Maryland. You should try them too.

ravi

You should definitely go to Woodlands, a South Indian vegetarian restaurant in Langley Park MD - and there's one in VA somewhere - that's hands down the best food for the money. They have a lunch buffet for $7.00 that rivals anything I've had in NYC, NJ, Chicago, ANYWHERE - and that's on weekdays!

Heritage India has good food - but it's quite expensive. We like Bombay Palace for standard Punjabi food, and Amma's in GT is good too, but given a choice, I would make the trip to Woodlands. It's amazing.

jenn

We went to Heritage India in dupont last night and while the food was good, the service was horrible. we wanted to order dessert but when the waiter disappeared for 15 minutes (not to another part of the dining room-- he was gone), we decided to leave. I liked the creativity of the food and the small plates, but overall I think Bombay Bistro wins in the taste catagory.

aparna

we prefer the food at the glover park location. it's more traditional than the menu at dupont, though the food there's not bad. it was just offputing to get steamed broccoli on the side of my saag paneer (this was a while ago, not sure if they do that anymore). plain steamed veggies is not indian food y'all.

AZK

Heritage is, in my opinion, the best Indian restaurant in DC. Everything there is superb, but the Lamb Vindaloo is particularly special.

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