Location: 45 Murray Street, New York, NY 10007
Best Dish: The Chili Chicken was divine. The sweet and sour flavors of
Overall: A grand space to enjoy quality Indian cuisine.
Named after a city in Northern India, Benares draws inspiration from the region for its menu of diverse Indian Cuisine. Chef David Beck and restauranteur Inder Singh have combined their considerable talents and created a sophisticated dining experience. At present, Benares is found in two locations, one in Midtown and the other in lower Manhattan. Their Tribeca location is accessed by a simple white door in the middle of two elegant columns. Beyond the door is a cozy bar setting with a chic divider separating it from the main dining room. The dining space is stylish and modern with dark woods, gray furnishings and colorful pops of brilliant yellows and oranges. The divider and dim lighting make dining here an immersive experience wherein you can enjoy a meal peacefully and forget the outside for just a little while. In addition to its regular service, Benares also provides catering for special events. For this review, we were treated to an assortment of bites courtesy of the catering menu. All of the items we tasted are part of the dinner menu.
This appetizer is made with succulent lump crab meat seasoned with garlic ginger roasted coconut and spices. The flavor is spicy and sweet with a mild peppery kick. The crisp chips in the garnish worked well as a vehicle for adding texture to the dish and scooping up chunks of delicate crab.
Scallops are notoriously hard to cook but these were well seasoned and fork tender. The scallops are pan-seared and served with a sweet and savory mango tomato relish.
Thick meaty swai fillet is marinated in garam masala and yogurt then tossed in gram flour before cooking to golden perfection. The fish was buttery and melt in your mouth tender.
Makkai Ka Soweta
For this bite, lamb shoulder was marinated in yogurt, turmeric, and garlic then stewed with fresh corn. The lamb was served with a bit sized piece of soft delicious paratha. The meat was tasty and the corn added a burst of fresh sweetness and texture.
Chicken Tikka Smokey
A smoky variation on an Indian classic. For this version, the chicken was smoked with clove for an extra layer of smoky sweetness and served with a cooling mint sauce.
By far one of the best cauliflower dishes we ever had. The fresh cauliflower is lightly battered and served crispy tossed with garlic and a tangy sauce.
This Indo-Chinese inspired chicken dish features morsels of chicken fried then tossed in a sweet and zesty sauce of bell peppers onions garlic and chilies.
We adore goat and the meat here was savory and tender. The goat was spicy and delectable especially with pieces of fresh garlic naan.
Benares is a comfortable inviting space with delicious Indian Cuisine. If you’ve never experienced the richness of Indian flavor we suggest making Benares your first adventure. The menu offers a clear description of each dish and the staff is very helpful in offering suggestions. If you are familiar with Indian food add Benares to your must have list. The dishes here offer a fresh take on the traditional with a focus on providing a flavorful culinary experience.
Benares TriBeCa is located at 45 Murray Street, 212-766- 4900, www.benaresnyc.com, and is open for lunch Mon-Sun from 11:30am-3:00pm. Lunch specials are a steal ($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 dessert. Dinner is served daily from 5pm-10:30pm.