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
Glover Park Location
2400 Wisconsin Ave NW
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.