BOONTON — Looking for a dining experience that is a little different, innovative, and unique? How about a short jaunt to quaint and historic Main Street in Boonton, a thriving little downtown area were among a diverse and eclectic array of small stores shops, and restaurants you will find i2i Indian Italian Fusion Restaurant. Reportedly the only Indian Italian fusion restaurant in the world.
i2i is the brainstorm of award-winning Master Chef Mickey Chopra. Immediately upon entering I was greeted by the highly personable, accommodating, and cordial Chef Mickey Chopra, and his daughter Tamanna, who could not have made us feel more welcomed or at home. The ambiance of i2i’s interior immediately presents an exceptionally clean, comfortable, warm, and casual vibe with a very classy décor while at the same time being very cozy and spacious.
I guess I would be remiss if I did not note that Chef Chopra is very vigilant about maintaining all the mandated pandemic protocols and the seating is well-spaced throughout the restaurant.
Just talking to and seeing how enthusiastic and passionate Chef Mickey is about his cuisine was a great sign that I was in for a treat. This was my first time at i2i, so I was looking forward to trying something quite different from my usual dishes and I was not disappointed.
Not surprisingly, I had to try the dish famously reviewed by Dave Portnoy of Barstool Pizza who rated the dish a 9.3. If you follow Dave Portnoy you know this is an amazingly high score. The dish in question, the Chicken Makhani Penne Alla Vodka (Marsala marinated grilled chicken, slowly cooked in Indian spices with a creamy sauce and served over Penna pasta), but first on my radar was i2i’s unique appetizer, their Naanchos (A bowl of crispy naan chips with melted spicy cheese, mango chutney, and toppings).
These Naanchos were a nice twist from the traditional Nacho appetizer we are all used to. The sweet Mango Chutney and other toppings provided a savory kick to the flavorful Naan bread. There is no doubt Naanchos will be a must order every time I visit i2i. On Tamanna‘s recommendation, we also tried the Royal Butter Chicken (boneless fresh chicken pieces broiled in Indian spices and cooked in a buttery creamy tomato sauce). We were glad we followed her recommendation. What a great dinner. For dessert, we went with the Pearl Jamun (cheese and milk dumplings in a honey syrup) and the Rabri Cannoli (traditional Indian sweet made from milk solids and Pistachios filled in a Cannoli).
Now back to the Chicken Makhani Penne Alla Vodka. I must agree with Portnoy, it was delicious. Chef Mickey’s merging of the two cultural dishes was an absolute genius, as the Indian spices added both flavors and fragrances to the chicken and pasta that really brought this dish all together. Excellent, and it went well with my BYOB Pinot Noir.
If you are or have been, hesitant or skeptical about trying out some of these new fusion dishes, I think you are missing out, but no fear, i2i also offers a full menu of traditional Indian and Italian dishes and pizzas, from Chef Chopra’s attached restaurant, Vinnie’s Pizzeria, for those so inclined.
As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed this totally satisfying dining experience and would certainly recommend you stopping in and giving it a try.
And please come out and support all our small, independent local businesses in any way you can.
i2i Indian Italian Fusion is located at 408 Main Street, For more information call (973) 334-3403.
Gluten and vegetarian dishes available, BYOB, Street Parking, Take Out, Open 7 Days a Week.