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SaGhar – Indian Fusion comes to Port Jefferson by Toni Hoyos, The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

While staying in one of Long Islands favorite spots, Port Jefferson, we happened upon the restaurant SaGhar (formally The Harbor Grille) which would turn out to be a chance encounter of the most pleasant kind! We perused the outdoor menu to my delight but it took Maryam the general manager to convince my husband the food was not “spicy” and to give it a try. We were not disappointed.

We ordered the fried calamari, lobster mac and cheese, braised lamb shank (which was huge), rack of lamb and naan. I do have to say the fried calamari left a little bit to be desired, but the Star of the evening was the braised lamb shank, cooked perfectly and full of flavor, followed by the rack of lamb, tender and delicious. Presentation of both dishes was impressive. Lobster mac and cheese was tasty and fresh. Now let me tell you about the Naan! It arrived hot, freshly made, dressed with garlic and melted butter. Need I say more? Yes I will, it was so good I could have made a meal out of it! There were a few different varieties to choose from that I would love to try on my next visit.

When we complimented the meal to Maryam and inquired about the restaurant we were intrigued by the story, which led us to converse with Kiran Wadhwa (events director and youngest of 4 sisters) and learned the history behind the food.

Back in 1993 Kirans family needed to leave India quickly. Her pharmacist father immigrated to the United States with his wife and 4 daughters settling in East Setauket. No roots here except for their food loving Uncle, who had a passion for cooking and his eye on a building. It was a difficult time for the family. Her father and Uncle worked together opening a restaurant with just a dream and no experience in 1994, hence the birth of The Curry Club in East Setauket, NY. Though well received, there were struggles, trials and tribulations, they persevered and to this day The Curry Club stands strong.

Eventually the desire for a larger space and catering facility led to the opening of The Meadow Club on route 112 in Port Jeff Station in 2014. Unfortunately The Meadow Club was completely destroyed by fire in July 2018. They have been renovating for the last 2 years and will reopen in December 2020. Congrats and best of luck! In the meantime some staff were taken in by Tommy Shaffer at The Harbor Grille. At some point Kirans father took over The Harbor Grille and opened in February 2020 with the name still attached, with 2 of his daughters running the place, Kiran is Events Director and Indu Kaur Operations Director. Due to the state mandates in the midst of COVID-19 they closed the doors on March 15 2020. They spent the time figuring out a reopening plan and experimenting with different recipes, utilizing the talents of their very seasoned experienced chef. They wanted the restaurant to be a legacy to The Curry Club.

They came up with a three fold concept, dishes that represented different parts of India as well as paid tribute to the beaches of India, seafood, and food that would appeal to the local population, they also wanted a city vibe. At SaGhar (“Home of the Sea”) you will find dishes not found at any other Indian restaurant such as Lobster Malabar. Their summer opening was successful and the sisters continue to work on innovative events. SaGhar has 2 bars, multiple party/event areas and rooftop dining. Last week a price fix lunch menu was established. Every other Sunday there is a themed brunch including holiday representations. Shows with Bollywood dancers and upcoming exciting events. We are returning to experience and observe one of the Sunday brunches and hopefully more delicious food, so stay tuned for an update! Get in your car, take a ride to Port Jeff and stop in to SaGhar, I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

SaGhar 111 West Broadway, Port Jefferson, Ny (631) 473-8300

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