When Vince Prakash went back to India last fall to spend three months with his family, it wasn't much of a vacation.

Drawn to local restaurants and hotels, the industry where Prakash got his start, he wanted to learn new techniques and cooking styles so that when he returned to America, he could start yet another restaurant.

And that's exactly what he did.

His latest, Cumin & Curry Indian Kitchen, recently opened at 4155 Morse Crossing in the former Pei Wei storefront near Easton Town Center in northeast Columbus.

The extensive menu is one that will be familiar to many fans of Indian cuisine.

Such popular items as chicken tikka masala, mango shrimp, aloo gobi, chana masala and lamb korma are on the menu and all considered signature dishes of Cumin & Curry, Prakash said.

The 3,200-square-foot space has been renovated, sporting a largely golden color scheme and decorated with original Indian paintings.

The dining room seats 95, with room for 34 on the patio.

Prakash decided to add a feature he didn't have in his previous two restaurants: a refrigerated display case that shows off fresh kebabs eventually bound for the tandoor oven.

"I wanted to be more honest, more transparent with my guests," he said.

Parakash formerly owned Cuisine of India and Cumin Indian Restaurant, both in Polaris.

He sold his interests in Cuisine of India so he could open Cumin Indian Restaurant, which he also has sold.

He said he is a hands-on owner, working in the kitchen to make sure the spice mixtures created in-house are creating quality, consistent dishes.

"I am in the kitchen," he said. "But I also confer with my guests."

Cumin & Curry offers a $10.99 lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and a $12.99 buffet offered from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

A la carte dinner is 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sundays through Tuesdays and 4:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Most entrees are $11 to $14.

Cumin & Curry has a full liquor license.

Prakash said he is pleased to be bringing Indian cuisine to the destination shopping district.

"The aroma is spreading all over the Easton area," he said.

For more information, call 614-470-6975.

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Mozart's is transitioning from a full-service restaurant to a private-events facility during the evenings.

Owners Anand and Doris Saha said via a press release that the Clintonville restaurant would be closed Tuesday and Wednesday evenings to accommodate private parties, fundraisers and other group events.

Mozart's will continue to offer full breakfast and lunch menus and operate its bakery, with a shift to high-end pastries and wedding cakes.

Dinner service currently is available Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Sahas plan to complete the transition to daytime-only hours for retail business within the next year, the release said.

The restaurant moved to its current location, 4784 N. High St. in north Columbus, five years ago.

A new restaurant designed to appeal to the healthy-dining crowd is poised to open at the end of September in the Graceland Shopping Center in north Columbus.

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Clean Eatz, part of a small North Carolina-based chain, will take over the 2,400-square-foot space at 5063 N. High St, which formerly was occupied by Qdoba Mexican Eats.

Although Clean Eatz is new to the market, it's not a novel concept, offering bowls, wraps, salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and such, using natural ingredients at inexpensive prices.

The local franchisee is Casey Schroeder, according to the Casto development company, the owner of Graceland.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary