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The Naan Fills A Niche

In just 2 months since opening, The Naan has developed a loyal and substantial following.

The new place — which follows Kibberia and, before that, John’s Best, on Post Road West just before Whole Foods and the Norwalk line — calls itself a different kind of Indian restaurant.

For one thing, there’s a substantial bar, overseen by experienced cocktail master Steve Barone (most recently of Luxe). Many Indian restaurant bars, he says, are “postage stamps.” His drink list changes seasonally.

Steve Barone, behind the bar.

For another, the menu pays homage to the entire, sprawling country. From Goa (the Portuguese-influenced state whose cuisine celebrates seafood) to the north (breads, rotis, samosas, curries), The Naan offers authentic food — some of it seldom seen in the US — with a modern take.

The restaurant is the dream of Pratiba Anand — an engineer by trade, with a strong sense of style — and her husband Raman Bindra. They moved to Connecticut from Queens, where the Indian population is far more substantial than here.

Anand, Bindra and Barone believe Westport is ready for a fine-dining Indian restaurant, with another twist. “Most Indian places are strait-laced,” Barone says. “Our servers really engage our guests. The atmosphere is not stuffy at all.”

Diners have responded enthusiastically. Lunch draws workers from nearby offices and stores; dinner attracts folks from all over the area.

Including yours truly. The other night, I had a very intriguing mixed grill dish. Lamb, chicken, minced meat, shrimp and salmon were seasoned with herbs and spices, all in a tandoor oven.

Mixed grill at The Naan.

The ginger beer and rose petal ice cream were excellent.

And of course, I loved the naan.

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