Aroma Bar and Grill, Indian Restaurant
485 Main Street (Route 7), Great Barrington, MA
On my way home from meeting a contractor in Pittsfield, I stopped to take a quick and inexpensive lunch at the Aroma Bar and Grill. I’d eaten here once before years ago (if I were rating things then, it would have gotten a 4.5 star review…), and hoped it was still in existence.
It is. And it is still quite good.
The rasam soup (a lentil based vegetarian offering from the south of India) was just as wonderful as I remembered it to be. A great combination of spices.
Aroma’s lunch specials were a main chosen from the vegetarian, chicken, or lamb sections of the dinner menu (a smaller amount, of course), vegetable pakora, rice, raita, and your choice of naan, poori, or roti. I chose lamb dilruba and garlic naan. (My absolute favorite Indian main is lamb saag – I have a thing for the seasonings of Indian spinach dishes, but I decided to try a preparation I’d not ever eaten before.)
The vegetable pakora was awesome. I could make a meal off of that (and the soup). My portion included cauliflower and broccoli, lightly frittered and delicately seasoned.
Lamb dilruba is described as lamb served in a mild brown sauce with mushrooms. Actually, the waitress gave me a choice of mild, medium or hot in spiciness. I chose medium heat. This was very good, and the lamb was quite tender and tasty. However, the sauce, which owed a lot to tomato, was not outstanding – very good, but simply not boat-rocking.
The raita was good, lightly seasoned and refreshing. The rice, for some reason, was tepid in temperature. I’m thinking they incompletely re-heated leftover rice from the night before? (This was just after noon, which is why I am wondering.) So, the rice was disappointing.
Service was prompt and courteous. My meal was under $20, and I was satiated.
The restaurant appears to be divided into two sides, the other side being the bar. I stuck with ice water…
They serve a Sunday brunch buffet.
Rating: 3.7 out of 5, mostly docked for the tepid rice. (Otherwise at least a 4, but hey, the tepid rice almost certainly came from the previous night… it’s a major part of the cuisine…) I WILL be back. That soup! That pakora!
I revisited this place last week, August 29th, for lunch on my way up to Williamstown, MA, where I planned to spend two or three days just on an impromptu getaway.
I’m glad I went back! My hope was to eat more veggie pakoras, so I could figure out how better to make them right in my own kitchen (the batter wasn’t clinging enough).
I’d planned to get just the rasam soup again, and a whole batch of pakoras, but I’d forgotten the great lunch deals they have there… pick a main from a wide variety, AND get some bread, rice, pakoras, raita… for real inexpensive! So… I ordered one of my favorite mains, the saag (or palak) paneer, and got all those sides for the same price. I ordered the onion naan rather than the basic – this came with an extra charge of a dollar, but man, was it so well-worth it!
The rice was fresh and hot this time, and I just oozed into my meal, loving every second of it! This date: rating of 4.5 !!!