Sitara is the Hindi word for “Star,” and after sampling the fiery delights of this downtown Urbana restaurant’s North Indian cuisine and relishing the burn of a Sun in your mouth, you’ll understand just how stellar this restaurant can be.
The restaurant serves a wide variety of dishes both vegetarian and meat-based at a variety of spice levels, mostly originating from North India such as tandoor: meat and vegetable dishes baked in a clay oven, and biryani: aromatic dishes of rice and chicken or lamb with spices baked in with such care that the steam rising from the plate delightfully singes your nostrils before the first spoonful even enters your mouth. Apart from dry dishes like tandoor and biryani, Sitara offers a variety of curries of every meat and vegetable and several specialty dishes such as chili fish: fish sautéed in onions, peppers and chili sauce, and aloo ghobi: potatoes and assorted vegetables fried with garlic, herbs and spices.
A few North Indian-specific dises the establishment offers are korma, a curry of meat or vegetables with an added touch of cashew, and the Sitara chicken masala, a dish of chicken fried in spices, onion and tomato along with Sitara’s special creamy sauce.
Owner and Mumbai native Bobby Gomes explained the establishment’s quality by noting both the dedication of his staff and the care with which he picks the ingredients.
“At least once every week or two, I make a trip to Chicago to personally pick the spices we use in our cooking,” Gomes said. “Our chefs are also incredibly hard-working and dedicated to delivering the finest dining experience possible.”
The restaurant also caters to special events and boasts an impressive level of flexibility with regard to what types of dishes it can prepare for any given occasion. Apart from fine Indian cuisine, Sitara boasts a selection of Indian and American beers and other drinks and functions equally as a lounge and as a restaurant. Its price level is mid-range, with most entrees running between nine and 10 dollars apiece, and the reasonable prices, mixed heartily with a refreshing ambiance and a diverse selection of dishes fiery and moderate, meat and vegetarian, ensure that there’s something for everyone at Sitara.