Bombay Velvet, an Indian restaurant, will open at RTC West (12100 Sunset Hills Road) on Monday (April 15). The 2,500-square-foot restaurant, which the owner describes as “upscale,” can seat 100 guests between 22 indoor tables, three outdoor tables and one bar.

Rajiv Chopra, the chef and owner, is also behind other food ventures in the area like Punjabi By Nature and dessert shop Evergreen Sweets.

“We knew there was an opportunity to fulfill a missing need for a fine dining Indian establishment in the DMV,” Chopra said in a written statement. “Our new world approach to traditional cooking paired with our elegant food presentation gives us hope that locals and visitors who come into Bombay Velvet will expand their palates and try new regional Indian dishes that they have never experienced before.”

The menu includes dishes like “Calangute Beach Surf ‘N’ Turf” — a spicy chicken chorizo with Goan balchao shrimps — and “Khosla Ka Ghosla” — a dessert with vermicelli and dates. The restaurant takes its interior design inspiration from 1970s Bombay and 1930s American households.

Bombay Velvet is open from Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to midnight.

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Northern Virginia is getting its own ornate Indian dining room just a month after D.C. welcomed the ultra-extravagant Punjab Grill.

New Delhi native Rajiv Chopra, the chef and entrepreneur who has three locations of fast-casual Punjabi By Nature in Northern Virginia, plans to open Bombay Velvet next week. Chopra’s first upscale restaurant opens for lunch and dinner on Monday, April 15, in Reston Town Center West (12100 Sunset Hills Road). The 100-seat restaurant features a small outdoor patio area and eight-seat bar.

Recipes showcase five different regions of India: north, south, east, west, and coastal. The food also reflects the influence of foreign powers in the subcontinent, including the Mughals, Turks, Persians, Afghans, French, Portuguese, Armenians, and the British.

An ornate look draws inspiration from both 1970s Bombay and American households during ‘30s and ‘40s. True to the restaurant’s name, there are velvet chesterfield sofas, colorful Indian chairs, copper-tinted mirrors, and a massive chandelier comprised of 380 lights. Orders come plated in handpicked, elegant crockery.

A finalized menu, including pricing information, won’t be available until later this week.

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Try lobster curry and coconut cocktails from the Punjabi by Nature restaurateur.
Chef and restaurateur Rajiv Chopra has opened four casual, counter-order locations of Punjabi by Nature, showcasing Northern Indian cuisine in North Virginia. Now he’s going upscale and highlighting regional cuisines at Bombay Velvet, a luxe Indian restaurant now open in Reston.

Chopra refers to the menu as a “gastronomic adventure to India.” The chef took research trips to six regions and cities in his home country, studying recipes in upscale hotels and learning how to hand-grind spices in small villages. Dishes from the north, south, east, and west live alongside each other on the menu, often accompanied by footnotes recounting a dish’s origin. The chef incorporates at least eight types of chilies found across the subcontinent. Chopra hopes the distinct spices and ingredients of each region will allow diners to “feel the flavor of that location.”

Starting in the south, the kitchen looks to Hyderabad. Seared scallops are paired with peanut salan, a spicy curry sauce traditionally enjoyed by the region’s ruling dynasties. Seafood dishes pay tribute to the coastal regions like lobster curry with a malai sauce simmered overnight, taking inspiration from the abundance of fisheries in the Bay of Bengal. The cocktail menu echoes the attention to regional flavors, like a beach-y Kerala-inspired concoction of rum, coconut water, cumin, and pineapple.

Traveling northward, the restaurant pays homage to the influence of Mughal rule on Northern Indian cuisine. The Mughals ruled for two centuries, bringing with them rich curries and hearty dishes like rice biriyani. Chopra pairs a dish he says was eaten by the Mughal kings, chargrilled chicken barra kebab, with mint chutney and a beetroot pickle salad.

The influence of Portugal, Armenia, and Britain on Indian cuisine are also prevalent on the menu. Chopra revamps the Scotch egg of British gastropubs, combining the traditional hard boiled egg with minced lamb, and saffron pistachio sauce. The menu boasts seven types of naan, from a simple butter version to iterations like truffle or black-and-white garlic.

In case you’re wondering about Bombay Velvet’s name, the 100-seat space is filled with hints: velvet sofas, velvet curtains, and velvet chairs. “Everywhere you will feel the velvet touch,” Chopra says. Looking upwards, the tin ceilings are meant to nod to 1930s American homes and 1970s Bombay, illuminated by a ten foot chandelier. In addition to the main dining room, guests can grab a table at one of the three outdoor patios or at the onyx bar.

Chopra already has plans to expand Bombay Velvet into the District in 2020. He has yet to sign a lease but has eyes on a number of locations.

Bombay Velvet. 12100 Sunset Hills Rd., Reston; Open Sunday through Thursday 10:30 to 11; Friday and Saturday to 12.

Source:  Washingtonian Click Here to read more

Northern Virginia chef and restaurateur Rajiv Chopra opens his first fine dining Indian restaurant next week in Reston.

The 2,500-square-foot Bombay Velvet — located at 12100 Sunset Hills Road — will seat up to 100 between 22 indoor tables, three outdoor patio tables and one bar. Chopra, a native of New Delhi, owns and runs three other Indian fast-casual concepts called Punjabi By Nature, the 30-employee Bombay Velvet is his first foray into upscale dining.

The restaurateur told me that he plans to open multiple Bombay Velvet locations in Greater Washington in 2020 and beyond. “I’m already looking for places in Washington, D.C., but I’m not finding the right location,” Chopra said.

From Bombay Velvet’s mid-April opening until the end of 2019, Chopra projects the restaurant will generate $2.5 million, with the subsequent year expected to generate up to $4 million. This projected figure is roughly what all three Punjabi By Natures — each of which employ 10 to 15 workers — earned last year. The three venues’ combined revenue was between $2.5 million and $3 million, he said.

For the expansion of his restaurants, Chopra said he will use his own funds and not conduct capital raises.

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