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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Upmarket restaurant

Sun–Wed 11:30am–3:00pm
Sun–Wed 5:00pm–10:30pm
Thu–Sat 11:30am–3:00pm
Thu–Sat 5:00pm–11:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


1070 Main St.
Branford, CT
(203) 481-8994
Darbar India
The prices are hard to beat, but the authenticity can’t keep up with the competition

The days of Darbar’s supremacy are over. Don’t get us wrong—the place is still much loved, but lately it feels overshadowed by some of the more authentic Indian in town (Thali, Thali Too, Swagat, even Star of India). But its location in Branford has its advantages: if you’re a Yalie on the run, you’re far less likely to bump into that teaching assistant who thinks you’re deathly ill or the ex who thinks you’re questioning your sexuality.

The location is pleasant, right on the town green. The feeling is very classic suburban Indian restaurant, with bright lighting, deferential service, and zealous attention to the level of your water glass. The menu is also very standard for the genre—don’t come here expecting to sample any unusual new regional dishes.

Food comes in little silver metal soup bowls with lids instead of the standard open platter. The stuff-you-see-on-every-Indian-menu dishes are satisfying, including the shrimp tandoori masala and the mixed grill. Classics like chicken tikka masala are reliable, and there is a great selection of vegetarian-dishes-after-saag-paneer; try the baigan bhartha, eggplant cooked with green peas, onions, and tomatoes with ginger and spices. The mango lassi is superb.

Portions are not particularly large for an Indian restaurant, which we actually find refreshing. Prices are quite reasonable from top to bottom, but the best value are the lunch specials, which hover under ten dollars, and a great all-you-can-eat buffet on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

But the New Haven area has seen that indian food can be more than this standard menu, and there may be no looking back.

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