Big Apple gets a taste of Benares
Although it is hard to create a menu that captures Indian cuisine in all its intricacies, Benares, a new restaurant on 56th St. in New York, is doing its best to do so. Although Benares is named after a holy city in India, the cuisine doesn't focus on that one location. "In India, there's a lot of diversity in spices and eating habits," the New York Daily News quoted chef Peter Beck as saying. "We tried to focus on what comes from different regions," he said.
Beck is getting help from owner Inder Singh, an experienced restaurateur who cut his teeth at popular Indian eateries Baluchi and Devi. "We wanted to make a high-end restaurant with medium-priced food," Singh said. Singh still runs two other restaurants, Aangan on the upper West Side and two Minar locations in midtown.
Most entrees in the restaurant are around 15 dollars, with the most expensive costing 28 dollars. "We chose the name because it's a well-known city but we chose the menu to show all of India," Beck said. Singh and Beck named several of their dishes after the regions they represent. Mathura Se, for example, is a potato patty recipe popular in Mathura, while Kashmiri soup, made with roasted turnip, beetroot and pigeon pea, is traditionally served in Kashmir. Of course, they also have dishes special to their namesake city. "From Benares, we bring vegetarian food, tofu, soy, stuffed potatoes and vegetables," Beck said.