Chutney Masala Indian Bistro in Irvington expects to reopen in early December, possibly during the month's first week, Chef/Owner Navjot Arora, said. The restaurant has been closed since Hurricane Sandy brought destruction and flooding to the metropolitan New York area on October 29, 2012. A few seasonal changes in the menu will be made once operation is restored, Arora, who returned from a trip to India on Monday of this week, noted.
"Most of the repairs needed have been made but the downstairs wooden floor was damaged beyond fixing and is being replaced," Arora said. An imitation-wood tile floor will be installed shortly. The restaurant is housed in a two-story 150-year-old building that was once the storage warehouse for a lumber company. No damage was incurred on the second floor.
A majestic inlaid tile bar, located on the first floor, survived the storm except for its beverage glassware which was completely destroyed.
Most of the restaurant's museum-like decorative art was saved including Victorian mirrors, hand-blown glass fixtures and historic wall photographs by Raja Deen Deval that depict India's 19th-century British colonial era.
Spoken Interludes' authors' reading program
Chutney Masala will use the kitchen at Riverview in Hastings-on-Hudson to prepare the buffet dinner for the Spoken Interludes authors' readings program, hosted by Irvington resident and novelist DeLauné Michel, on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m.
Three authors are participating in this program including Lee Woodruff, CBS "Good Morning" show contributor and wife of ABC newsman Bob Woodruff, reading from her debut novel "Those We Love Most." Author Joshua Henkin and suspense story writer Alafair Burke will also participate. The talks begin at 7:30 p.m. and book signing will be from 8:30 to 9 p.m.
About 150 attendees are expected. The cost of admission is $25 per person, payable by cash or check. A cash bar is also available. Reservations can be made by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The buffet dinner will include chicken tikka masala (a favorite offered at all programs in this reading series), other main courses including fish, a choice of many vegetables, basmati rice, cookies and coffee or tea.
Arora, after arriving in the United States from New Delhi, India, was hired by Irvington resident Sushil Malhotra, former owner of the Manhattan Indian restaurant Dawat and the founder/president of Cafe Spice Restaurant Group. Arora served as Executive Chef for Malhotra's organization.
Subsequently, Malhotra and Arora teamed up as partners to open Chutney Masala Indian Bistro in April, 2008.
Ayurveda principals were an influence in the determination of dishes for the menu. (Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old Indian science that combines good dietary practices with other factors to promote longer and healthier lives.)
Arora was the guest chef at a James Beard Foundation program in March, 2009 honoring the Spring Festival of Color, a holiday in India. He and his wife Anu, who often acts as hostess at the restaurant during dinnertime, are Irvington residents.
For more information about the chef's background and the restaurant, see "Navjot Arora at Chutney Masala," Rivertowns Patch, June 12, 2010.
Several employment openings exist to replace staff members who left for positions elsewhere following the storm. Contact Arora at the restaurant.
More information about the Spoken Interludes book reading program is available at www.spokeninterludes.com.
Chutney Masala is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. It is located at 4 West Main Street in Irvington, New York. 914-591-5500. www.chutneymasalabistro.com.
Riverview is located at One Warburton Ave. in Hastings-on-Hudson.