New York, Apr 23 (ANI): 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.
The restaurant also sets itself apart from other Indian restaurants by including dishes that have never gained popularity in the United States.
"Lots of the chutneys we use are normally not found in other restaurants.
"India is most famous for chutneys, but they're not so prominent in the States and there's no reason for that," beck said.
Seafood, an oft-neglected Indian staple, is another one of Benares' specialties.
"Even though India is a peninsula no one has put emphasis on seafood, but the coastal regions eat seafood every day, even for breakfast," Beck said.
In addition to an a la carte menu, Benares also offers a daily lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. For 12.95 dollars, diners enjoy creamy Tikka masala (both chicken and paneer) and refreshingly light Dahi wada, lentil dumplings in yogurt sauce.
Framed sari fabric, imported from the city of Benares, lines the walls while yellow chairs and dark wood tables add to the cozy feel of the dining room.
But a colorful handmade Indian chandelier is the true centerpiece of the restaurant.
"It was specially made from India for this restaurant. It brings the colors in," Singh added. (ANI)
Read More: Mathura | Mathura Road Faridabad | Inder | Mathura Rasoolpur | Dahi | Mainthna Inder Singh | Rampur Mathura | Mathura Bazar | Mathura Chhapar | Mathura Chawk | Mathura City | Mathura Ho | Mathura Jn. R.s. | Mathura Refinery | Dahi Edso | Mathura Pur So | Mathura Sahibganj | B.s.city R.s. | B.s.city Plant | Aan | Pirapur Mathura