Owner Anand Poojary and chef Nabin Kumar Paudel of Jewel of India in Silver Spring. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

For this Sunday’s dining column in the magazine, Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema traveled checked out subcontinental newcomer Jewel of India. In a sparkling debut, the polished Silver Spring gem earned two-and-a-half stars from Sietsema and praise for its cooking, service and decor. Jonathan Newton photographed the restaurant for the review. If Sietsema’s words aren’t enough to make you book a table, these photos probably will.

“The breads -- white-flour naan, flaky whole-wheat paratha -- make handy sops for the food. The most seductive of the bunch is the kulcha filled with crumbled cauliflower, potato and ginger.” (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The handsome dining room and smart service show that this restaurant sweats the small stuff. Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

“Chicken in a dark gold gravy sweetened with fried coconut and countered with roasted cumin seed gives a nice shout out to Poojary's native Mangalore.” (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

“Jewel of India appears to have taken some design cues from Washington's elegant Rasika. My eyes are drawn to a see-through curtain of glass beads separating a bar from the dining room, then to framed paintings of costumed Indian women, sumptuous reproductions of the work of the 19th-century Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma.” (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

“A short list of Indo-Chinese dishes accompanies the regular menu (and probably accounts for the many Asian patrons in the crowd on any given day). Hot-and-sour soup is much more than the standard bowl, swirled not just with fire that lingers on the lips but with softly crunchy snow peas and bamboo shoots.” (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

“Vindaloo, the vinegar-sharpened specialty of Goa in southern India, packs a pleasant sting, but is not so searing that I can't taste the lamb it excites.” (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Bottom line: “While the menu will look familiar to Indian food fans, the execution shows uncommon flair.”  (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)