Lower East Side
There’s a reason why Dhamaka has topped the best-of lists from multiple publications, from Eater to Esquire: It’s really just that good. Chef Chintan Pandya and restaurateur Roni Mazumdar will be the first people to tell you they never anticipated the kind of response they received for this, their third restaurant together after critically acclaimed Adda and Rahi, which has since become Semma (yet another hit you shouldn’t miss).
When they opened Dhamaka, they felt like they were taking a risk by choosing to focus on regional Indian cuisines and dishes that are often forgotten or overlooked. But true to its name (“dhamaka” refers to a “bang” or “explosion”), Dhamaka has left a huge impression on critics and New Yorkers alike, many of whom have scrambled to get a table — or, harder yet, to order the elusive and incredible Rajasthani khargosh rabbit feast. If you haven’t been yet to Dhamaka, you owe it to yourself to go. Don’t delay.