Up­scale bistro of­fers taste of In­dian cul­ture

Cin­na­mon restau­rant has mix of tra­di­tional and rein­vented dishes

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­tri­cia Doxsey pdoxsey@free­manon­line.com pat­ti­at­free­man on Twit­ter

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.

TANIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN

Cin­na­mon own­ers Chaminda and Shi­wanti Wid­yarathna. Be­hind them is the Hindi word for ‘de­li­cious’.

TANIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN

Lamb Shank Ro­gan Josh.

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