Momos move into Pittsford
To gloriously misquote an icon: Gimme gimme momo; photos by Tomas Flint
3349 Monroe Ave. Pittsford Plaza
Nepalese cuisine may seem puzzling—momos (dumplings) and chow mein sid
e by side with biryani and dhal (lentils)? The diversity of the food comes from its geographic location and ethnic diversity. Located between India and Tibet, it is no surprise that Nepal’s neighbors’ influence is clear in some of its most iconic dishes.
Located in a plaza known for fancy steakhouses, tome-like menus of cheesecakes, et cetera, and fast-casual faux Mexican, it would be easy to miss or skip Rosie’s Nepalese & Indian Restaurant. This is what we call “a mistake” in the business (the business of eating delicious food, obviously).
The most well-known Nepalese dish is the crowd-pleasing momo. It looks similar to dumplings you have had dozens of times at Chinese restaurants, but when you bite in, the flavor is unquestionably different. Delicately wrapped, the inside is filled with chicken or vegetables seasoned with cumin, coriander, and other spices you have encountered in Indian food. The dipping sauce is a red chutney with chilis, garlic, and a hint of soy sauce. You can order these steamed (my recommendation), fried, sauteed in a sweet chili-tomato gravy, or grilled, tandoor-style.
The chow mein again looks very familiar but is much milder than you may expect.
Thin noodles stir fried with crunchy vegetables like cabbage and carrots, the dish tastes slightly gingery and sweet. The mild savory notes in this noodle dish make it very approachable for your fellow diners who are stepping into Nepali cuisine…gingerly.
If you are looking for something saucy, try the chicken lababdar. Pieces of chicken breast are cooked in a tomato onion gravy that has a distinct combination of spices that walk the line between spiced and spicy very well. Paired with their house made garlic naan, I have added this satisfying combo to my list of comfort dishes.
Perhaps you want others to be envious—like when your fajitas arrive sizzling and steaming when the rest eat their sadly silent burritos. Rosie has several sizzlers. The chicken mirch tikka will fill the air with the scent of mint, chili, and spices as it sizzles its way to you. They also offer shrimp, salmon, lamb, and vegetable sizzlers.
Rosie also offers Indo-Chinese dishes. The gobi manchurian (fried cauliflower florets tossed in a soy-chili sauce) is salty, sweet, a little spicy, and the most fulfilling way to eat a vegetable. Chicken 65 (fried chunks of chicken dressed in several piquant spices) is a medium-spicy way to get in your protein for the day. If you put these two dishes together, it may count as a salad!*
*I am definitely not a nutritionist.
Dear chicken makhani fan club: Have no fear. You can most definitely find it at Rosie. It is less rich and more savory, which I am a fan of. They have other classic north Indian dishes like tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala, etc.
Rosie Nepalese & Indian Restaurant offers a casual culinary journey through Nepal and northern India. Grab a friend or twelve and order the whole menu—it is basically a short story compared to the cheesecake opus nearby!