Benares: The Indian Dining Spot That Will Spice Up Your Palate
True foodies in New York can find any variety of cuisine within the city streets. From Ethiopian delicacies in Brooklyn to Tibetan spices in Queens and Peruvian empanadas in Manhattan.
Recently, when searching for a new favorite hotspot within the Big Apple’s huge melting pot of flavors, we found Benares. Located in the heart of Tribeca, this elegant dining spot is by far, the most authentic Indian restaurant we’ve had the pleasure of trying in NYC. And we don’t say that lightly.
The thing that first captured our attention when entering Benares was the simple elegance that existed from wall to wall. The ambience was tranquil yet inviting, and the colors smooth, vibrant and warm like the essence of true Indian culture.
As soon as we took a seat inside our cozy booth, the server brought us a selection of house cocktails – and to our surprise, though they were a bit on the sweet side, they were absolutely delicious.
Our favorites: Benares Martini and the citrusy Varanasi.
Next came a spread of appetizers, including: Tawa Scallops, Crab Chettinadu and Chicken Tikka Smokey.
The scallops were cooked to perfection and drenched in a chili ginger tomato relish that melted our tastebuds. The crab cakes – which are always a must – had a hint of Indian flare that created a wonderful spicy contrast to the soft creamy meat of the shellfish. Of course, the roasted coconut garnish really sealed the deal. Much to our surprise, the chicken was our favorite of the three. Marinated with fresh yogurt, smoked with clove and served with a housemade mint sauce, there was nothing we didn’t love about this unique and tasty starter. One thing’s for sure, the Indian certainly know how to spice up their chicken.
For the entrées, we decided to go vegetarian, after all, we believe it is where this cuisine truly thrives.
We tried everything from spinach puree to fresh okra and black lentils, yet out favorite was the Gobhi Jaipuri. This fiery dish is prepped with potato and cauliflower and cooked in a slow fire with cumin, coriander and chili flakes.
To be quite honest, we didn’t have room for desert after such a hearty meal, but then again, we’ll probably be back tomorrow.
Make your reservations at benares.nyc/tribeca, you won’t regret it!