2002 Best New Restaurant

It’s no wonder Food & Wine magazine chose Thomas John as one of the country’s 10 best chefs this year. His sophisticated Indian-accented French cuisine has made Mantra such a destination that it’s spawned its own cult following. Creations such as grilled lamb loin with saffron coconut sauce or spice-crusted halibut are so delicate and flavorful, they’re swoon-inducing. Conveniently, Mantra’s 20-foot wooden hookah den is the perfect retreat after indulging in the addictive cuisine. That’s where Mantra devotees congregate to sample strawberry-, apple-, and grape-flavored tobacco hookahs and titter about the one-way mirrors in the futuristic downstairs bathrooms.

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