Left: Goan style fish curry with salmon; right: murgh tikka masala (chicken), the staple of all of our Indian meals
My sister lives in Charlotte, a few blocks from the most amazing Indian restaurant, Copper.
Let me repeat this another way: my sister, whether intentionally or not, chose to live near a restaurant that even now as I type this, makes my heart beat faster and my mouth water. This place is so, so good, and I say this not lightly. I say this as someone who has eaten Indian food everywhere but in India. I've never passed up an opportunity to try a new Indian place. I find cooking Indian food delightfully and frustratingly complex, and I love it.
This place is so good, in fact, that the Gravy Baby tried to take some to go. I don't mean as in, he asked for a nice little takeout box and waited patiently while the server spooned some of our leftovers into it (there weren't that many). I mean that the Gravy Baby spooned some of that Goan fish curry right into his toy tool box that we'd let him bring into the restaurant to keep himself entertained while we ordered. Hey, I guess you make do with what you've got, right?
Left: zesty vegetable bhaji; right: amazing aloo gobi
Besides the creamy, perfectly balanced Goan fish curry, pretty much every other dish we ate at Copper had all the delicious varied spicing you expect with Indian food, but also had modern twists. For example, the sheekh kebab meatballs were served with some supremed grapefruit, an excellent way to cut the spiciness of the actual meatball. The aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes), usually a filler dish we order so that we don't roll out of our Indian dinner full to the eyeballs with rich curry, had a little bit of velvety sauce at the bottom (it's usually a dry dish), which made for excellent naan-dipping. The only dish that had more eye appeal than flavor was the zesty vegetable bhaji -- while it was beautiful to look at, with strips of julienned bell pepper, onions and carrots -- it tasted a little bit like a glorified stir fry, which I could have done without considering our other tastier options.
We're already planning our next trip to Charlotte my sister's house Copper. The Gravy Baby's toolbox is cleaned and ready.
Copper Restaurant | 311 East Boulevard | Charlotte, North Carolina