I’m pretty much a newbie when it comes to Indian fare (I’ve only been eating it regularly for a little over three years now), so I’ve probably not had more than five different Indian eateries in the Cincinnati area. They’ve been pretty great ones, though, so I like to think I have a pretty good idea how to compare (by “great” I mean Ambar, Baba, Shaan, and Taj Mahal in addition to Dusmesh for reference).
I’d heard a multitude of great things about Dusmesh—most notably that it is largely the favorite, as far as Indian places in the area go—so Date and I figured, hey, we both love Indian food, so what the hell.
[Disclaimer: because I typically get the same dish at every restaurant (Matar Paneer—a vegetarian north Indian dish featuring paneer and peas in a slightly sweet and spicy sauce), it’s hard not to compare how each establishment produces that particular dish. My review will likely reflect that.]
Location: Conveniently located next to highways (I-75, I-74, and the Lateral) across from Cincinnati State Community College, at the bottom of Clifton, and the top of Northside. More importantly, Dusmesh features a lot, which boasts unprecedented ease in the parking department (at least compared to other Clifton Indian eateries).
Atmosphere: Located in what I presume to be an older home, Dusmesh is special in the fact that it doesn’t provide the same dull, tired, repeated Indian restaurant décor experience (see: every other Indian restaurant I’ve been to). There is quite a bit of character and there is a ton of seating for when they have higher volume crowds. The ambience was relaxed and casual, yet pretty quiet, providing a great atmosphere for either a date, small group, or even a larger party.
Food: The food is pretty great, and I quite enjoyed my Matar Paneer, even if it was not quite as flavorful as its Ambar competitor’s (note: the Paneer, or mild cheese, was pretty fabulous, even if the sauce wasn’t entirely up to snuff). The rice was outstanding, as well as the Garlic Naan that Date and I opted for. All around a very good culinary experience.
Overall Grade: B [out of a possible A+]
My personal favorite Indian food remains Ambar India, but Dusmesh is definitely doing something right, and it’s right up there with my other favorite Indian place. Great, attentive service; delicious food; and nice atmosphere.