Am I the only one who thinks “Baluchi’s” should be an Italian joint? Well, it’s not. Baluchi’s is a chain of about a dozen Indian restaurants, with locations all over town. The newest branch is at the corner of Greenwich & Warren Sts, in the southwest corner of TriBeCa.
The site hasn’t been a lucky one. It’s a bit far from the TriBeCa dining mainstream, situated across the street from a parking lot and caddy-corner from a grade school. Some of the apartments of southern Battery Park City are just a few short blocks away, but Baluchi’s doesn’t seem to be drawing crowds yet. Its predecessor on that site was a nice Mexican restaurant that closed after 9/11.
After a late night at the office, I wandered in to find Baluchi’s empty, except for a large table of about 15 investment bankers, who no doubt were happy to be able to talk shop without annoying anyone. That they bypassed the nearby, and better known, Salaam Bombay, is a clue that Baluchi’s is attracting the smart money.
The authentic décor is tastefully done, while avoiding any of the usual Indian restaurant clichés. Dark wood tables give a feeling of solidity, and they’re a comfortable distance apart. The laminated menu is a liability, reminding one of a coffee shop. The magic begins when the food arrives, served in individual copper pots. Salmon curry was exceptionally tender, perfectly cooked, and accompanied with a flavorful sauce. The waiter even threw in the basmati rice for nothing. The dish disappeared off my plate all too quickly. The service was attentive, but with the restaurant practically empty it had damned well better be.
Baluchi’s in TriBeCa is one of those hidden neighborhood gems that will never get a newspaper review, but quietly delivers the goods. If you’re in TriBeCa and in the mood for Indian food, it’s worth a detour.
Baluchi’s (275 Greenwich Street at Warren Street, TriBeCa)