I haven’t been to an Indian restaurant in over 35 years, but after seeing numerous delicious looking posts from @Saregama and @gcaggiano, and a recent 3 star review, and top 30 new restaurant mention from NJ Monthly, I decided to give Benares a try. It had a ‘modern Indian’ looking menu. I thought it was pretty good, but Mrs. P wasn’t too impressed, so we probably won’t be going back. We have too many regular restaurants that we go to on our plate, and not enough weekends. I think that Mrs. P just ordered wrong. However, I would highly recommend it to anyone that loves Indian food. Please excuse me because I know absolutely nothing about Indian food. Sam, the owner took very good care of us. He started us of with these nice colorful crispy rice chips with a coriander and a tamarind dip. He also provided us with delicious thin crispy papadum that had a nice little spice to it.
For appetizers, we had perfectly cooked tawa scallops, with cilantro, green chili, ginger, mango and tomato relish; crab chettinadu, with garlic, ginger, roasted coconut, and spices; and our favorite dish of the night, crispy lightly tempura battered eggplant slices drizzled with sweet and sour chutneys, and fresh cilantro. They also accidentally gave us Koli Erachi, chicken marinated in ginger garlic, and star anise pepper sauce? They didn’t charge us for it. It had a nice kick to it.
For entrees I had a very flavorful Rogan Josh, lamb in a cardimom, anise, and paprika sauce. Mrs. P had the Kekda Kari, crab curry simmered in mustard, curry leaves, and kokum. It was good but a little too similar to the crab chettinadu flavor wise. I think Mrs. P was expecting something close to the delicious Southern crab curry that we had at Ammata Thai. Both entrees came with perfectly cooked and flaky rice. It all went great with an excellent red wine blend.
The menu has about 100 items on jt with an extensive vegetarian menu.