BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT (1999)
This was the year when you could practically hear restaurateurs on the Indian circuit running up phone bills to circulate the message: Come quick! There is a large city with not enough restaurants! So we joyously welcomed India Palace's buttery glory and Passage to India's late-night convenience, and lucky Eagan got a new Chutney's. Ah, Chutney's, the one and only restaurant in town that treats each dish with a chef's attention. The paneer (homemade cheese) is light and airy, the butter chicken is as tender as a ripe mango, and every preparation is made distinct by individual spices (even the basmati rice in the $6.95 buffet is fragrant with curry leaves). It doesn't hurt that they have the best home-made chutneys (surprise!) around, and a fine beer list to boot.