I love Indian food. For those of you who follow me here on Socially Superlative you know I’ve written about many different Indian restaurants in NYC. Each restaurant has its unique style and distinctive flavor, and Indian food is about as diverse a cuisine as you can find.
Last week my girlfriend and I decided to try out Benares Tribeca. Founded by veteran restauranteur Inder Singh of Devi and Baluchi’s, whose family has been in the business since moving from New Delhi to NYC in 1978, he knows a thing or two about Indian cuisine.
Singh brought on a new Head Chef Qutab Singh Negi,from Taj of India restaurant in Germany and Ashok Hotel in Delhi, who brings a North India flair to the original menu which was designed by Executive Chef Peter Beck. But enough chitchat: let’s get down to our meal!
We started out with two designer cocktails recommended to us by General Manager Ranbir Bhatia who took care of us for the evening. Sweet, refreshing and not too boozy, it were exactly what I needed to whet my appetite.
Next on the agenda were the Crab Chettinadu, lump crab meat seasoned with garlic, ginger, and roasted coconut and spices, and Makkai Ka Soweta, lamb shoulder marinated in yogurt, turmeric, chili, ginger and garlic and stewed with corn. How do you say delicious in Hindi? The crab was amazing and the lamb so tender and flavorful, it was almost a shame to finish it.
We also tried two more appetizers, the Koli Erachi, chicken breasts marinated with ginger and garlic in a star anise peppery sauce, and Aloo Papri Chaat, wheat crisps, chick peas and potatoes topped with yogurt, roasted cumin, mint and tamarind sauces. You can’t leave this place without trying the Aloo Papri Chaat – it’s that good, folks!
For our main courses we went with the vegetarian Saag Paneer, fresh spinach cooked with cottage cheese, tempered with cumin, ginger & garlic, and the Rogan Josh, a signature dish from Kashmir consisting of lamb in cardamom aniseed and paprika flavored sauce. We loved them both! The spinach was so good even a bratty kid who hates spinach would eat it. That used to be me but now I love spinach!
Ranbir also brought us a dish of Chicken Tikka Masala and Fish Malai Tikka. The fish was exceptional!
We really liked this place and enjoyed our whole experience. Exceptional food and excellent service, centrally located just a block away from the subway (A, C, N, R), you need to check this place out!
– Michael Riegelman
Photos by Jason Greenspan and by Socially Superlative
240 West 56th Street
between 8th Ave. & Broadway
Both locations offer Lunch Specials from $10.95 – $16.95, with a choice of three courses in vegetarian, non-vegetarian, seafood or tandoori, all served with Banarsi dal, steamed rice, naan or paratha, and include a dessert!