• Dining
  • We review Jaipur, a polished, old-school Indian restaurant

    Have you eaten in one too many tech-forward food halls lately? Here's a West Loop spot with white tablecloths and Sunday-dinner china.

    Jaipur

    Jaipur

    JAIPUR

    738 W. Randolph St. | 312-465-2250

    Neighborhood: West Loop
    Cuisine: Indian
    Vibe: Mellow
    Sound level: Quiet
    Entree price level: $15-$32
    Reservations: Accepted
    Private room: Seats 25
    Wheelchair accessible: Yes

    79彩票注册网址All restaurant meals are paid for by Crain's reviewers, who visit restaurants anonymously. They sometimes follow up with phone calls to management after they visit to clarify information.

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    Too much Indian food? What's that? We often wonder why there's not more in Chicago, and also why we don't seek it out every day. Our enthusiasm is based not on expertise with the culture's traditions but on sheer enjoyment. We can't get enough of those spices. So when Jaipur reopened on Randolph Street in October (it had closed in July 2018 after almost 11 years across the street) right next door to hip new Rooh, which offers modern Indian cuisine but is totally unrelated, our reaction was: Two Indian restaurants on one block? Yes, please.

    79彩票注册网址At least for now, Jaipur offers lunch but Rooh does not, so we headed over at midday recently to check out the reboot. The space once housed Ronero, a Latin American restaurant, with rum-focused Esco Bar upstairs. Now it's home to a polished, old-school Indian restaurant experience, a classic of the genre. If you've eaten in one too many tech-forward food halls lately, it's especially welcome. Where else in this neighborhood can you eat lunch on Sunday-dinner china (with matching salt and pepper shakers) using nicely weighty flatware, while sitting at white-clothed tables? The accoutrements might be formal, but the mood is not the least bit stuffy.

    WIDE TERRITORY

    The extensive menu is also a bit of a throwback; it can take some time to sift through all the appetizers, tandooris, curries, vegetable stews, meat and seafood preps, breads, rice dishes and more. Portions are generous; sharing is de rigueur. Don't hesitate to order old favorites like saag paneer ($19), spinach with cheese, as the execution is so high and the flavors so vivid, it tastes like a great new invention. Most things can be made more or less spicy, and some substitutions (coconut milk for cow's milk, for example) can be accommodated, if you ask. Meat-averse diners and vegans have lots of choices.

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    Jaipur

    79彩票注册网址Chicken vindaloo

    79彩票注册网址

    BEST BITES

    A bowl of innocent-sounding but impactful tomato soup ($6) gets a meal off to a rousing start with bold spicing. Paired with tall, conical, crisp-fried vegetable samosas stuffed with potatoes and peas ($7 for two), it's a meal in itself. Hungrier than that? Meatless entrees are a strong suit. On our visits, both the potato-and-cauliflower aloo gobhi ($19) and eggplant-based bengan bhartha ($17) dazzled. Our only quibbles were with our chicken dishes, as the meat was dry in both—a dramatically sizzling tandoori platter ($15 for a half portion) and chicken korma ($20), otherwise delightful in its curry cashew sauce. Excellent breads include complimentary papadum crisps, tender-chewy paratha ($6) and ethereally puffy puri ($7 for two pieces).

    EAT, DRINK, TALK

    Service is attentive even when the place is underpopulated. Business diners and others will appreciate the soft background music and the private-feeling, conversation-enabling booths facing the bar.

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    Jaipur

    Pani puri

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