FOGGY BOTTOM: First Look - Bindaas Brings Indian Street Food Downtown - Opens Today!

One of my favorite restaurants in Cleveland Park is Bindaas, the Indian Street Food restaurant created by Ashok Bajaj and Executive Chef Vikram Sunderam. Bindaas is Indian slang meaning "independent, cool and carefree" and that's the vibe that you get as soon as you walk through the door. The 2nd location of Bindaas is no different, Martin Vahtra of Projects Design Associates of New York, who created the original location, has also created the vibrant Bindaas Foggy Bottom, a little larger maybe, but still with that semi-formal feel, surrounded by street art, and whimsy, highlighted by the upturned baskets that have become light shades transports you to the lively and colorful streets of India.

Indian street art adorns the walls of the restaurant
Located right on the border of Foggy Bottom and Downtown, close to the George Washington University campus in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood and the World Bank, Bindaas, I have no doubt, will become a lunch-time favorite of the workers, and be a destination for those looking for great Indian food in a unique surrounding after 6. 
Whimsical pieces and art works abound throughout
The food is tailored to small plates, so you may find yourself ordering 4 or 5 dishes for dinner. For Foggy Bottom Chef Vikram Sunderman has added some new dishes (and a few sandwiches) which includes 2 street karee's (1 Chicken the other Veggie and 2 new Uttapam (pancakes). The sandwiches Wada Pao (which is typical of Mumbai), and a Chicken Farcha Burger marinated chicken, malt vinegar, chili and curry leaves, served on a pao bun with beet and tomato chutney. There are plenty of vegetarian dishes on the menu, so all dinners can enjoy their choices.
I tried a few menu items, both of which I can highly recommend. The Golgappa (Avocado, Sweet Yogurt and a Tamarind Chutney) are delicate savory's of thin, crisp puri. This dish is common in many areas of India, primarily Bengal, although Golgappa is the Uttar Pradesh in India's north version. These are definitely finger food, and should be 'popped' in the mouth for a delicious surprise and a mild after burn of jalapeno.
The Wada Pao (also known as a Bombay Burger) is a vegetarian fast food dish native to the Indian state of Maharashtra, the main ingredients are a vegetable patty with a dried garlic chutney, that I found so tasty that I wonder if a traditional American Burger will ever satisfy again?
DC is a place that loves its cocktails, so for those that like to visit a bar after work to try something different, I can recommend Bindass as a place to explore.The bar, and the column surrounds have been designed as a nod to small family-run, bistro-style restaurants found throughout Mumbai. The cocktails, are created to Michael King and head bartender Max Hill. I tried the cocktail named "Green with Envy" which I can see being a favorite drink on a hot DC day. Made with One Eight Vodka, Cucumber, Basil, Mint and Jalapeno, the first sip takes your breath away, before the coolness of the cucumber, basil & mint take over and provide a calming 'while away the day' feeling. Other Cocktails include "Instant Dharma" a mix of Tequila, sparkling Wine & spiced Tamarind. "Curried Away" with Gin, Tonic, Lemon, Ginger and Egg White, and the Rum based "Perfect Mumbai". Bindaas uses local products so the Gin is from Green Hat, Rum from Cotton & Reed as well as the One Eight Vodka.
Bindaas Foggy Bottom is located within The Shops at 2000 PENN, 
2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20006.

The restaurant will be open Sunday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Brunch will be served Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
For reservations or additional information call (202) 516-4326 or visit: