Upscale bistro offers taste of Indian culture
Cinnamon restaurant has mix of traditional and reinvented dishes
Stepping into Cinnamon Indian Cuisine and Bistro, an upscale Indian restaurant that recently moved into the village, one can almost get the sense of being transported to the land of spice, jewel tones and mysticism.
The clean white and gray walls of the main dining room are adorned with Hindi writings the color of the turmeric that is used in so many of the eateries dishes; that color is carried over into the patterned cushions that line a bench on one wall that, along with deep purple pillows, beckons to diners.
Another dining area has bi-fold doors offering patrons the illusion of dining al fresco, and by year’s end, a second floor as a lounge where patrons can enjoy Indian tapas and drinks in a room filled with sofas, draperies and lots of Indian pillows, will open.
It is exactly the atmosphere Shiwanti and Chaminda Widyarathna were hoping for when they moved to the center of the village nine months ago from their previous location on U.S. Route 9, south of the village where the highway splits into four lanes.
It’s very different from what we had,” said Shiwanti Widyarathna over a cup of spicy Chia tea recently.
The Widyarantha’s first opened Cinnamon five years ago at 5856 Route 9, in a mostly residential area along a strip of highway known to the locals as “the four lanes.”
While off the beaten path, the restaurant quickly developed a local following and a reputation as one of the best Indian restaurants
in the area.
In fact, Cinnamon has been named the Best Indian Restaurant in the Hudson Valley five years running by Hudson Valley Magazine.
But the restaurant was, as Shiwanti Widyarathna described, in the “middle of nowhere.”
So when the opportunity to their new location at 51 East Market St. arose, the couple — who now live within walking distance of their restaurant — couldn’t resist.
With a new location, the couple decided to create a new “more modern” atmosphere for their restaurant.
It’s not only the atmosphere of that has changed.
The menu has also been completely redesigned, offering a mixture of traditional and reinvented dishes from various regions of India, with an emphasis on sustainable foods purchased from local purveyors.
“All the meat and chicken is 100 percent certified organic,” said Widyarathna. She noted that most Indian
dishes are gluten free because flour is not traditionally used as a thickening agent in Indian cuisine, and said the new menu also offers a number of vegan options, “because there’s a huge demand in the Hudson Valley for vegan foods.”
“We took a long time tasting and editing and editing and editing each dish,” said Widyarathna. “We tried to keep a balance between all the flavors and all the regions.”
She said that because the dishes hail for a differing regions throughout the country, about 60 percent of the dishes are not spicy while about 40 percent of them are.
Cinnamon Indian Cuisine and Bistro is located at 51 E. Market St., Rhinebeck. It is open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Tuesday. For more information call (845) 876-7510 or go to cinnamoncuisine.com.
Cinnamon owners Chaminda and Shiwanti Widyarathna. Behind them is the Hindi word for ‘delicious’.
Lamb Shank Rogan Josh.