Indian cuisine finds a home

Upcoming Bombay Indian restaurant aims to raise the bar.


After a (too short) stint offering takeout food this summer, Bombay Indian restaurant reopened Sunday, to the delight of foodies Island-wide. This time, a new location, a broader-ranging menu, and not one, but two chefs promise a new kind of eating experience, with dishes and flavors unavailable at existing Vineyard food spots.

Earlier this year, Bombay was operating out of a commercial kitchen at Edgartown’s Airport Park, and provided exclusively call-in and takeout meals. “We had this idea, this concept, and it went extremely well,” Bombay owner and chef Austin Grande said of the business’ short operating period this summer. 

But with an overwhelmingly high volume of orders to fill, Grande and his girlfriend Sydney Scannell hustled to meet increasing demand. “We were extremely limited,” Grande said of the Edgartown location, since per the leasing agreement, “we had to keep the traffic down in the area.” 

Not long after opening, a handful of hurdles slowed down momentum, Grande said, from non-ideal subleases to staffing, ultimately forcing the business into hiatus. Nevertheless, Grande has no regrets. “Things happen,” he said, “and they just kind of mold you into who you are.” 

But now, with fewer restrictions, and a prime space in Oak Bluffs, Bombay Indian restaurant has plans to fill the food gap, offering new tasty bites to curious Island restaurantgoers.

Working alongside Grande will be Chef Mark Thompson. With a background in Indian cuisine, Thompson has worked in numerous successful restaurants, in addition to cooking for the New England Patriots. “He can cook foie gras in his sleep,” Grande said. “I’m pumped to have him in the kitchen.”

Bombay will feature an array of Indian staples, as well as local fusion creations, using exclusively organic ingredients, with all spices and flour imported straight from India.

Growing up around Gloucester and Rockport, Grande found his passion for Indian cuisine unexpectedly, only ever being introduced first to the dishes as a teenager by his stepmother Sheetal, who Grande said was the catalyst, inspiring him to learn more. 

Hailing from Ahmedabad in Western India, located in north-central Gujarat, Sheetal often cooked family dinners at their Massachusetts home, which Grande said were ideal teaching moments, encouraging his love for the food and the culture that comes with it.

A trip to India sealed the deal. Grande worked in various restaurants through Western India before eventually being offered a job at a Michelin-starred restaurant in New Delhi. Culture shock transformed into a deep appreciation for Indian culture, Grande said, particularly Indian cuisine.

“It’s a unique cuisine, [with] a lot of different spices,” Grande said, “most of the dishes hit at least three to four palettes … that’s pretty amazing.” But because of that, “it’s a difficult cuisine to master,” he said, “and I wouldn’t say I’ve even come close to mastering it.”

In his time abroad, Grande became enamored not just of the delicious food, but of the surrounding ethos. The country, diverse as it is, encompasses a unified people, he relayed, with an admirable emphasis on overall respect. His friends in India tended to focus less on personal gain and materialistic aspirations, he said, and more on “having a good life, and being happy and healthy … family truly does come first,” he said. 

Just like Sheetal instilled in him years ago, the idea of regular sit-down meals acts as a cornerstone for many Indian families. “They do it every single night,” Grande said of daily family dinners, “and it’s important for everybody to be there.” 

Once back in the States, Grande’s passion for cooking remained just that, as he enrolled in school at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and worked at Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard, ultimately commencing a long stretch of working on a tugboat out of the Cape. 

Eventually, with the unwavering support of his family and his girlfriend, Sydney — whom Grande said has been instrumental in getting the business up and running — the concept of Bombay Indian restaurant was born, and subsequently made into reality. 

As a newcomer into the Island restaurant business community, Grande expects to show what he’s made of. “We want to raise the bar,” he said. And yes, he joked, as “a white guy, cooking Indian food.” 


Bombay Indian opened Sunday, Oct. 16, and will take over the former Sea Smoke spot at 7 Oakland Ave. in Oak Bluffs. Hours of operation will later become 11 am to 11 pm seven days a week, 365 days a year.


  1. This is so exciting!! Congratulations to Austin and Sydney and your whole staff!! We have definitely been needing an Indian restaurant for a long time. When the Barn (Bowl and Bistro) would offer Indian food occasionally it always left me wanting a real Indian restaurant to go to. Thank you for fulfilling this need, and in a great location with ample parking. Just please don’t overwork yourselves with your ambitious operating hours!

  2. Congratulations to you and your girlfriend Austin. The sky is the limit. Best of luck and blessings abundantly.

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