22. August 2006 East Village, Indian + South Asian 0

91 First Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets
$60 for two, BYOB, without tip

Because it’s the only Sri Lankan restaurant in Manhattan, Sigiri is a gem. It’s on the same block as the East 6th Indian restaurants, so if you blink–or if the red lights make you squint–you might just miss it. But try not to miss the dhal vade or lentil patties, the fish and potato cutlets and the vegetable and fish spring rolls, all breaded and deep-fried with traditional Sri Lankan spices. You can get each as an appetizer portion for about $5 or get the sampler for $8.50. The beef curry was a bit boring because the meat was dry inside, but the coconut milk curry covered its blandness and made the dish edible. We loved the yellow basmati rice cooked in saffron with cashew nuts and golden raisins. It was so hearty I could have eaten it without anything else. The best thing about Sigiri, though, is their BYOB policy. Dowel Quality Products, the deli downstairs, sells every beer imaginable.