- Courtesy Of Kathmandu Restaurant
- Chana masala and naan from Kathmandu Restaurant
Two Indian restaurants, both from owner Krishna Paudel, are adding to the global food scene in Vermont this summer.
In St. Albans, Paudel opened Kathmandu Restaurant at 133 North Main Street on June 8. She plans to open her second business, Indian-Nepali Kitchen, at 100 Main Street in Montpelier on July 13. The Montpelier location is the former site of Down Home Kitchen, the Southern-style restaurant that closed at the end of 2019.
The restaurants are (or will be) open daily for lunch and dinner. Their similar menus feature traditional Indian fare, including curries, lamb korma, tandoori chicken, dumplings and vegetarian dishes.
Paudel, 35, who owns the restaurants with her husband, Randeep Paudel, is the original owner of Everest Indian-Nepali Restaurant in South Burlington, which she opened in 2018. After selling the restaurant to relatives in 2019, she decided to expand the cuisine she offers to other parts of Vermont.
"I went to St. Albans because I saw who used to come in my Everest from St. Albans," she explained. The diners from that area told her they'd appreciate a similar restaurant at home.
Paudel's chef in St. Albans, Prem Kunwar, moved to Vermont from California to open Kathmandu, she said. Pandemic-related business closures had cost him his cooking job.
"Oh, my God, he is a very good cook," Paudel said. Kunwar's experience includes running a restaurant in Japan for many years before moving to the U.S., she said.
Opening a restaurant amid a pandemic is difficult, Paudel said, citing factors ranging from the expense of procuring Indian spices to staffing concerns.
Still, she said she's excited to bring Indian food to "the heart of Montpelier."