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Vij's Restaurant Review: Vij's décor is minimalist and casual: coal black walls and East Indian lanterns allow the food to take center stage. Gracious and graceful, Vikram Vij offers each guest a glass of chai and appetizers in the lounge or on the patio before reviewing the seasonal menu he and his wife, Meeru Dhalwala, compose and refresh every three months. When it comes to blending spices, she has the equivalent of a winemaker’s nose, and needs only a whiff from a pot to know whether a dish will tantalize or not. Before dinner, consider sipping Vij’s ginger-and-lemon drink. Then, begin your meal with coconut kale on pearl barley pilaf. Count on an aromatic curry special, such as the signature lamb popsicles in a spicy fenugreek cream sauce, or choose grilled sablefish in tomato-yogurt broth on navy beans sautéed in onion masala. Desserts? Mango kulfi (ice cream) and cardamom-scented rice pudding are sure bets. The adventurous wine list, designed to complement Indian flavors, is the creation of sommelier Mike Bernardo. It’s tightly focused with only five whites and five reds, each available by the glass or the bottle. Be sure to ask about Bernardo’s reserve line-up; it's loaded with exciting, worldly selections. Arrive early (5 p.m.) due to the restaurant’s no-reservation policy.