By LOU LUMENICK, The New York Post
Published: Nov. 19, 2010
Charming and mouthwatering, “Today’s Special” is a comedy about a Manhattan sous chef (Aasif Mandvi, who also co-wrote the script based on his off-Broadway play) forced to take over his family’s faltering restaurant in Jackson Heights.
Heavily assimilated and passed over by his boss at a fancy eatery for lacking heart in his work, Samir (Mandvi) is about to leave for an apprenticeship with a Paris master chef when his disapproving, Indian-born father (Harish Patel) suffers a heart attack.
Run-down and with a comically oddball staff that’s going through the motions, the Tandoori Palace is a couple of samosas away from being replaced by a chain eatery. But when Samir hires a charismatic cab driver (Naseeruddin Shah) as a replacement chef, it awakens Samir’s own interest in his culinary heritage.
Director David Kaplan deploys an excellent cast that includes cookbook author/actress Madhur Jaffrey as Samir’s mother and Jess Weixler as a former colleague who helps out and maybe more. But in the end, the food is the real star of “Today’s Special.”