Best of Boston

2009 Best Indian Restaurant

Tamarind Bay

There’s plenty of tasty Indian food around town—witness the lines of hungry grad students at Cambridge’s Punjabi Dhaba, for one. But Harvard Square’s Tamarind Bay Bistro (along with its newer sibling, the seafood-oriented Coastal Indian Kitchen in Brookline) is in a class of its own because it treats Indian cuisine as, well, an actual cuisine. Here you’ll find regional distinctions more precise than ‘northern’ and ‘southern,’ and taste the kinds of dishes, like butter chicken curry and the exceptional vegetable biryani, in which individual flavors sing out clearly, instead of fading into a haze of spice.

75 Winthrop St., Cambridge, 617-491-4552,