Cafe Spice

Cafe Spice (Midtown West)

Cafe Spice

Nostalgia is a bitch. I used to eat at Cafe Spice’s NYU location on a weekly basis years ago. It was always such a nice (expensive) lunch treat that I had built it up in my head over these years as something almost spiritual. Needless to say, the 2006 version of said experience couldn’t live up to the memories. Perhaps it’s less build up than location; maybe this one just isn’t up to snuff. It didn’t help my frame of mind that I had to sit waiting at the bar next to a munching suit-guy for a half hour while they chased my chicken tikka around the kitchen. I got the grub back to my desk and in my delirium almost inhaled the entire thing without a breath. I’m not going to go ahead and declare the joint a lost cause or anything, but the intervening years between my first Indian experience and this one have been filled with quality Far East cuisine that surpasses the original. So it’s probably less a case of the food going downhill, or my expectations being destroyed than an evolving palate and applied culinary panache. [MF]

54 W 55th St.