ROCKPORT — Living in Rockport for the last three years, Dee Patel became increasingly aware of the high demand for Indian food in the Midcoast.
Patel, who works full-time at the skin center of Penobscot Bay Medical Center, said any time there would be work parties or potlucks, in the days leading up to the event, people would ask what she was planning to bring.
“I don’t know, mac and cheese?” she would suggest.
“No, no. You have to bring curry,” was the common response.
Now she has decided to start offering her dishes to the community at Namaste Indian Food, opening June 7.
The restaurant will initially be takeout only and will run out of The Ledges By The Bay at 930 Commercial St., Rockport, Friday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.
The vegetarian menu will feature curries, paneer, samosas and naan, and will have plenty of gluten-free and vegan options.
She said she has decided to start small and see how the community reacts.
Cooking has long been a hobby and passion for Patel, who grew up in India before moving to New Jersey at the age of 22.
In 2016 her family moved from Augusta, where they had spent the previous seven years, when her husband, Amit Patel, and sister-in-law bought The Ledges.
She said the combination of high demand and the easy availability of a commercial kitchen led her to try this experiment.
The menus will be different for each day of the week with a rotating cast of three curries, while samosas, naan and dabelis – a traditional potato-stuffed bread sandwich – will always be offered.
The entire menu is available on the Namaste Indian Food Facebook page.