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Sudhir Seth, the chef/owner behind the often-dazzling Passage to India in Bethesda, just started this week building out his latest venture, Spice X-ing, in Rockville Town Square. He hopes to open the more ambitious restaurant by the end of December in the former Stonefish Grill space, the first business reportedly to fail at the Square.

During an interview this afternoon, Seth said Spice X-ing would include, aside from the requisite butter chicken and saag paneer, a number of dishes influenced by the outside cultures that have had a presence on the Subcontinent, whether British, Portuguese, Spanish, or French. The dishes, unlike the home-style cooking found at Passage, will require a good deal of research and conceptualizing, Seth says. Also expect more small plates.

Among the plates that could land on the menu, Seth says, are a roast chicken with Indian spices and a potato stew called ishtoo, a mispronunciation of the English word “stew,” which includes, of all things, fresh grated coconut to extract its milk.

“I’m not recreating Passage to India, that’s for sure,” Seth says. “I plan and hope to change the menu more often than I have been able to do at Passage to India.”