Gulaabo is the latest restaurant from the team behind Indian gastropub Baar Baar in New York City. The upscale casual restaurant focuses exclusively on the cuisine of Northern India – specifically from the Punjab region – and is now open in the heart of Manhattan’s bustling Theater District.
The name itself comes from the Punjabi term “gulabo,” which refers to a charming young woman with a rose-like complexion. Embracing its namesake, Gulaabo seeks to evoke that same sense of beauty, aroma, and cultural richness through its authentic Northern Indian menu.
Gulaabo’s kitchen is led by Head Chef Paramjeet Bombra and Pastry Chef Barinder Singh, both of whom hail from the state of Punjab. The cuisine of Punjab is deeply rooted in the region’s agricultural traditions and the cultural influences that have been gained across centuries. It is a vibrant and rich cuisine that plays a significant role in India’s culinary heritage. Dairy products (like ghee, paneer, and dahi), dried fruits and nuts, and aromatic spices are the basis of the Northern Indian diet, along with wheat-based breads and curries.
Gulaabo brings tradition to the present day with a menu that explores everything from street food staples to tandoor-cooked kebabs and homestyle plates – many of which feature recipes that were adapted from chef Bombra’s family collection, like the Param Singh Da Meat (a yogurt-based curry cooked in mustard oil featuring goat shank, ribs, and leg meat and a secret blend of spices). Among the chats, there is Dahi Bhalla, a street snack made with sweet yogurt, a sweet-and-spicy chutney, tamarind and mint chutney, and cilantro; a Pakora Platter with four fritter varieties including stuffed bread, stuffed chili, onion, and potato; and Punjabi Samosas. Bread offerings include Garlic Naan, Whole Wheat Roti, and an assortment of stuffed Kulcha and Paratha, which are served with an array of accompaniments. Gulaabo caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians the same – with offerings in both categories. Mains include tandoor-cooked kebabs (with options ranging from paneer and garden vegetable to quail, lamb, chicken, and seafood). Non-vegetarian standouts include Kukkad Pulao, tandoori chicken cooked in bhuna gravy and served with jeera pulao and boondi raita; Keema Kaleji, a minced lamb dish with chicken liver; and Khargosh Tara Boti, rabbit legs cooked with tawa masala. On the vegetarian side, there’s Lauki Kofta, a hearty homestyle curry made with bottle gourd and cilantro; Amritsari Wadi Aloo, sun-dried lentil dumplings in a heritage gravy; and Baingan Bharta, a fire-roasted spiced eggplant mash dish. To round out the meal, Gulaabo also offers house made sweets like The Gulaabo, inspired by the classic North indian dessert of gulab jamun (Indian donut) with lachha rabdi (thickened cardamom-infused whole milk); and Phirni, a recipe from Bombra’s grandmother that features creamy, slow cooked sweet rice pudding with doodh laddu.
Mixologist Suyash Pande developed the restaurant’s beverage program, taking inspiration from “Safarnama e Punjab,” which translates to the “Travelogue of Punjab.” It is a journey through the Land of the Five Rivers, celebrating the flavors, ingredients, and elements that make Punjab special. Highlights include the Makhani with butter chicken-washed whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters, honey, and peat; Sarson with black mustard-infused tequila, tamarind, and chili; Paan with betel leaf vodka, betel leaf shrub, tonic; and Tandoor with mezcal, secret stock, and pineapple juice, among others. Gulaabo also emphasizes its mocktail program, which nods to the popularity of Sharbats – a refreshing, sweet and sour beverage that’s often given as a welcome. Beer and wine are also available.
Gulaabo was designed by Curry Fwd, a Kolkata-based design agency, who took inspiration from the Gulaabo name to transform the bi-level, 3,500 square foot space. The restaurant features accent wallpaper patterned with Indian floral prints, blush pink painted brick walls, and gold ceilings. Large green velvet banquettes and leather wrapped chairs are complemented by mixed woven pendant lighting fixtures that glow warmly overhead. The ground level dining room features a 6-seat stone-topped bar, high top seating for 10-12, as well as table seating for 80-95 guests, while upstairs holds additional seating for up to 45.
Gulaabo is located at 250 West 47th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue, in New York City. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00PM to 10:00PM, and until 11:00PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Gulaabo is closed on Mondays.