Doors of Saffron Indian Cuisine set to open Friday, bringing Indian, Nepalese
On Friday, Bir Raut and Sanjaya Dahal will start serving up authentic Indian and Nepalese flavors as the doors open at Saffron Indian Cuisine in downtown Steamboat Springs.
“We are very excited,” Raut said. “We just want to tell the community, ‘Give us a chance to serve you very authentic food, single-pan cooking with fresh ingredients,’ and we want to see them all coming here.”
Raut is hoping to create a community dining spot where the owners and staff will treat customers like family while providing tasty, healthy and fresh food each day.
“When I walk down the road and see somebody, I talk to them like friends, like family, and when I ask them they said, ‘We need it,’ and they need the Indian food,'” Raut said. “We’re not going to serve you like we are the only place in town where you can get Indian food — we care about you, we will care about like you are family or a friend, and we’ll start with the best possible (food) we can.”
The menu at Saffron Indian Cuisine is loaded with both Indian and Nepalese favorites, including korma, tikka masala and butter chicken. Customers will also find tandoori chicken as well as a wide selection of entrees.
“All the food is going to have a spice level — mild,” Raut said. “Mild, which is not spicy, and then there is medium, hot and extra hot. Extra hot is the extra spicy, but any of the food from the menu, we can make in any spice level — that’s the choice of the customer.“
He said many people think all Indian and Nepalese food is spicy, but he hopes that people in Steamboat will come and try his menu, which ranges from sweet to spicy.
Those that venture through the doors of Saffron will also find a selection of chow mein, tandoori breads and Momos, which are steamed dumplings filled with meat or vegetables.
Appetizers include vegetable samosa and pakora, as well as onion bhaji, chicken chili and the Saffron platter. The restaurant also offers soups and salads alongside Indian and Nepalese desserts, sides and beverages both on the menu and at the full-service bar.
“We have many traditional Indian cocktails and Indian beers,” Dahal said. “We have very authentic Indian drinks.”
Saffron Indian Cuisine is Raut’s second restaurant. He also owns and operates Durbar Nepalese and Indian Bistro in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Dahal used to own the Everest Indian Cuisine in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, before selling out last year.
The two men purchased the location at 425 Lincoln Ave. in June and started renovating the space that has been home to Seasons on the Pond, as well as the El Rancho. Raut said the kitchen has been brought up to date, as well as the dining room and the full-service bar.
The space seats 115 people with the large patio in front of the building, and customers can make reservations and view the menu at SaffronSteamboat.com or by calling 970-367-9385. Customers can also simply walk in and be seated when a table is available. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. for lunch and from 4-9:30 p.m. for dinner.
Raut and Dahal are coming to Steamboat Springs with years of experience in the restaurant business, but understand they are new to the community. Both men said they welcome feedback as they open Saffron Indian Cuisine, and want to make it a place that locals and visitors want to visit.
“I don’t want to tell people about Indian food since the people already know about it,” Raut said. “They know about the Indian food, they know already about chicken tikka masala, korma, any type of Indian food — they know about it. If you don’t see what you like on the menu, tell us and we may be able to make anything you want. We make sure everything will be fine, everything is going to be very fantastic, and the food will make you the happiest people in this town.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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