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Benares - Indian seafood/veg midtown

Riverman500 Mar 2, 2012 12:18 PM

New restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Baluchi's on west 56th Street, from the folks behind Devi and Tamarind.

Has anyone tried it yet?

Eater NY

Diner's Journal


240 W 56th St, New York, NY 10107

  1. Cheeryvisage Mar 3, 2012 11:37 AM

    Thanks for putting this place on my radar!

    1. s
      Simon Mar 3, 2012 03:02 PM

      Thanks for heads up...i found Tamarind mediocre and overpriced, but i'm willing to give this place a shot...menu is a bit all over the place...despite the ostensible nod to Utter Pradesh, it's a pan-Indian menu w/ everything from Kerala to Kashmir on there...and despite naming the place after the holy Hindu city, the vegetarian dishes listed aren't all that plentiful...that Kashmiri soup that they tout sounds interesting though...

      Sidenote: the food photos on their website are horrendous: everything is slightly out of focus and appears as glistening mush...boggles the mind how professionals could botch food photos this badly...

      41 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

      3 Replies
      1. re: Simon
        Cheeryvisage Mar 3, 2012 05:16 PM

        lol re. the food photos. I think that's the style. The photographer used a shallow depth of field.

        1. re: Cheeryvisage
          Simon Mar 3, 2012 05:36 PM

          exactly: suitable for portraits, but not for food where one scallop is in focus and the other behind it is hazy...or where the fish (?) is a shiny out-of-focus mess w/ butter/grease used as a reflector...who hires these people to shoot?...and who okays the photos on the website?...

        2. re: Simon
          tex.s.toast Mar 6, 2012 04:21 AM

          On reading your comment I was ready to jump in and defend the photographer, as an avid fan of Indian food and taking pictures of my food I've been consistently frustrated with just how difficult it is to take appetizing pictures of many indian dishes. that said those are some truly unflattering "professional" photos and i think you're right to question the editorial judgement of whomever okayed their use. Then again funky/comical menu's and websites are such a common theme in my experiences in India I actually have a whole photo album of terrible misspellings (not just misplaced words but meaning transmogrifying mistakes - see for exampled the store advertising "Child Bear" the place one goes to buy a cold malt beverage) and we jokingly refer to the existence of the "indian internet" in our house, where 90% of what you find is linkfarm/unrelated advertising, 8% is misinformation and about 2% is real, helpful info. Not that we shouldnt hold local places (especially higher end places getting 8 bucks for bhel puri) to higher standards than the average place in India, but there is an unsurprising authenticity to the bad pictures/painful site design.

        3. r
          Riverman500 Mar 5, 2012 09:20 AM

          We went to Benares for dinner on Saturday. We ordered a bunch of seafood items. The scallop and the salmon appetizers were quite tasty, and the oven baked seabass and the sauteed lobster with wild mushroom entrees were excellent.

          I don't want to oversell this place, it's very casual but I think it's a huge improvement over Baluchi's and offers quite a few unique dishes that you won't find in hundreds of other Indian restaurants in the city.. I think it's worth visiting if you're in the neighborhood or for pre-Carnegie Hall meals. I do plan to return to try some meat and veg items.

          240 W 56th St, New York, NY 10107

          1. c
            comiendosiempre Mar 5, 2012 07:54 PM

            Thanks for posting. It certainly looks worth a try.

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