Chili Peppers and BYOB...

Nothing screams “good Indian dinner” like chili pepper lights, friendly service, and an awesome BYOB policy. Such is Milon, the East Village gem located in a mix of Indian restaurants at 1st Avenue and 6th Street.

The d├ęcor itself draws you in as much as the maitre d’ outside who is competing with three others to get you to eat at their establishment. The choice is easy if you’re into super kitschy and delicious restaurants.

Underneath a canopy of red chili papers and sparkling lights you can join other locals in cozy and not-altogether uncomfortable quarters. After a look at the menu, you’ll realize why there isn’t so much space. For about 10 bucks you can have a small feast. Appetizers under 5 and entrees under 9 – perfect for all wallets.

Cheesey Poori bread and chicken Pakora fritters were a great wait to start off the meal. The chicken tikka masala, chicken madras, and the garlic and onion naan are absolutely delightful and filling, as far as my Western palate is concerned. It was all made better by the bottle of wine I brought from Trader Joe’s that the waiter opened for me. The waiter topped off our meal with a scoop of vanilla ice cream that cooled off our mouths, happily.

I’m always tempted to try one of the other 3 restaurants, who all share the same 2 addresses. But I can’t bring myself to tempt fate when every experience at Milon is so pleasant. The waiters all wished us a good night and shook our hands as we left. Next time I’m back in New York, you can bet I’ll be back.