Calcutta: Kewpie’s

Ask a Calcuttan where to get great Bengali food and she’s likely to invite you to her home for a typical multicourse extravaganza of semibitter seasonal vegetables, crisply fried appetizers, yellow lentils, local fish, mutton curries, tart chutneys, and yogurt-and-milk sweets. Kewpie’s, the city’s best Bengali restaurant, serves just such a spread. At this 130-year-old redbrick house in south Calcutta, Raj-period antiques adorn a cozy warren of five rooms and meals arrive on traditional clay platters lined with banana leaves. Moghul, Portuguese, British, and Chinese flavors influenced Bengali cuisine, and each dish here carries a unique combination of spices. (Rarely is anything fiery, but green chiles add piquancy.) Don’t miss the smoked hilsa, a marinated fish fillet in a thick sauce; fish Orly, batter-fried bekti (a local river fish akin to perch) with special spices; and duck vindaloo, which startles with its slowly building heat. Dinner, $20. At 2 Elgin Ln.