Of all the Indian restaurants on this list, Sudhir Seth’s Rockville Town Square dining room is the prettiest. With its jewel-toned fabrics, photographs of brick-red chilies, and smooth service, it’s especially good for a date night.
Interesting small plates include kathi rolls, the cool potato salad called papri chaat, and tandoori chicken wings–sample them with abandon during the weeknight happy hour. Stews, such as green-chili-stoked shrimp curry and the ubiquitous chicken tikka masala, stand out for their assertively spiced gravies.
It’s unusual to find such delicious cocktails at budget Indian restaurants, but the coriander margaritas and lychee-ginger martinis are nearly as big a draw as the kitchen.
Also good: Tamarind shrimp; lamb stew with apricots; tandoori pineapple; lychee mojito.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.