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Chautara

Update 7/23/13: Chautara is closed.

In a word: A fine destination for vegetarians, the formula breaks down somewhat for meat-eaters.

The specs: #0073
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, the Culinary Adventures of Jahboh and Tossy, life and puppies, QSC; mention in 2008 Isthmus Dining Guide; Chautara Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Latest Chautara news and reviews

Chug! and Kayla split the roti tarkari and an order of momochi with potato, black-eyed peas, and spinach.
JM ate the bangur ko secuwa (pork chop vindaloo).
Nichole ate the chicken tandoori.
The bill was $52, or $17.33/person, plus tip.
Kayla gave Chautara an A+; Chug! gave Chautara an A; Nichole and JM gave Chautara a B (see our grading rubric).

On the warmest day yet in 2005, we headed down to State St. to try Chautara's Nepalese/Himalayan fare.

Chug! and Kayla really enjoyed their repast. The vegetables in the momochi harmonized very well, and the salad, roti, and dhal were also fine.

Nichole, however, found she regretted springing the extra $5 for some animal protein. While the chicken tandoori was fine as grilled chicken goes, it didn't distinguish itself. It was disappointing that the best part, the yogurt sauce, wasn't sufficient to garnish the whole meal.

JM had a similar experience with the pork vindaloo - while perfectly adequate (he hadn't had a good pork chop in some time), he's had better meals for less cost. There was also something slightly less than authentic about Chautara.  Maybe the tables were a little too clean or lighting a little too bright, but for whatever reason, it felt like a food snob's haven instead of an undiscovered gem with unique fare. 

We're sure that the food is very authentic and true to its roots.  For whatever reason, though, this one rang false with JM.  Because of that, we're looking forward to Himal Chuli, Chautara's (little) sister restaurant.

Comments

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is it that hard to ask for some more yogurt sauce? Chautara is awesome.

Is it that hard to bring enough sauce the first time? :)

Madison people are always whining about "authentic." If you REALLY want authentic, get your passport ready. I imagine things in Kathmandu are handled a little differently than the US Board of Health does here so just how authentic do you really want it? Just be glad it tastes good.

Chautara is a great mid-range restaurant. It's very pleasant and nicely decorated with excellent food. I often eat the pork chop vindaloo, which is an excellent cut of pork, nicely grilled with a fine sauce. The shrimp is also excellent. I don't understand a complaint about chicken if you don't eat chicken. Then don't eat it! But it's very well prepared. It's one of the better places in Madison for a nice evening out without breaking the bank.

I gotta say I was a little uneasy about trying this place, but most of the reviews I'd seen were incredibly positive and we had a gift certificate so we gave it a try last night. It was simply fantastic. I was feeling adventurous and tried the goat dish (don't remember the exact name) and it was nothing less than outstanding. I had never had goat before, nor do I remember ever seeing it offered on a menu. I loved every bite of it, including the sides of rice and mixed vegetables. My wife also enjoyed her veggie option and she normally is not a huge fan of tofu. She said it was incredibly flavorful and judging by the fact that she practically cleared her plate (which she rarely does) I would have to say she really enjoyed it. The service was also very good and incredibly prompt.
If my Fish Fry tonight is anywhere near as good as my meal at Chautara was last night, they will be getting a highly recommended from us.
Impressed to say the least.

Madison Fish Fry -- Regarding goat. Try one of the good Indian Restaurants, I believe they normally have goat on the menu [even the buffet sometimes]. I haven't specifically had it, but based on the food I have had Maharajah or Maharani would be my first choices.

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