New Kid on the Block: Paisley

I had forgotten how good Indian food tastes. I know that may sound silly, but in these past months of ordering in or eating on the curb, Indian had somehow fallen off my radar. So it was a true pleasure to finally make it to Paisley, which we had to ourselves indoors on a wet and cold Sunday evening. To me, Indian is the ultimate comfort food — warm, rich, plentiful — and, well, now’s the time for that.

The restaurant opened on Feb. 6, which in the New York City restaurant business is what you call Bad Timing. They were only able to muscle through, owner Juthika Bedi will tell you, thanks to Taste of Tribeca.

“They gave us a second life,” she said. “We served 1000 meals thanks to them, and it created that second chance we needed.” (In tribute, Bedi commissioned a mural for their lounge by local artist Kathryn Cameron, and it is worth peeking at if you are walking by. But more on that later.)

Bedi had been working in catering at Tulsi, which before it closed three years ago had earned itself a Michelin star, when she decided she was ready for a restaurant of her own. She met the chef Eric McCarthy, who would later earn the Michelin star at Tamarind, there and the two had planned to open Paisley together, but that relationship unraveled last October. With a couple months left before opening, she approached Peter Beck, a James Beard award winner whose resume included Tamarind and Benares and a couple decades of acclaimed work in the kitchen. The timing worked.

On day one they had 40 walkins. On Valentine’s Day, they had 90 reservations. It was more than they wanted, really, as the kitchen got up to speed, and certainly better than they imagined.

“The people of Tribeca have been amazing,” she said. “I tell everyone if you are going to open a restaurant, do it here.”

Beck is known for celebrating the diversity of Indian cuisine in his menus, and as a result there are plenty of recognizable dishes on the Paisley menu along with some I had never encountered. We had to have the saag paneer and the chicken tikka masala, which were somehow rich and light at the same time. The nadir monji — little cakes topped with a lotus root — were laced with fennel and ginger. The lentil dumplings — dahi bhalla — were doused in a yogurt sauce that I ate by the spoonful. And while I could live off naan and naan alone, our server suggested the lachha paratha — pleated layers of whole wheat dough brushed with oil. NB: You will eat very well here as a vegetarian or if you are gluten free.

There’s also a quality about the place — pride without pretension. Much of the Dylan Prime decor is still there and I applaud that. It makes me crazy when new restaurant owners rip out a perfectly lovely interior. They’ve added a layer of color and pattern (it’s also half the size since John Allan’s has the eastern end along Laight). There’s a private dining room in the back.

They were still working through their plan for curbside seating and heaters on the sidewalk, but Bedi was pumped and ready.

“God made me go through the rough time early,” Bedi said. “Hopefully it’s all rock and roll from here.”

429 Greenwich St.
Open seven days, including weekend brunch



  1. I love Paisley. They have a crab appetizer dish that’s amazing! Glad to have them in the neighborhood.

  2. I highly recommend Paisley. Excellent food and very nice people. A great addition to our neighborhood. May they thrive and survive!