Photo Credit: Copyright Melissa Hom
OPENING DATE: April 21, 2008
60 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019
(Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)
LOCATION: Benoit is located in the former space of the legendary French brasserie La Côte Basque, just steps from the shops along Fifth Avenue, a few blocks from Central Park and the Museum of Modern Art, and minutes from the theatre district.
RESERVATIONS: Reservations are suggested but not required
HOURS OF OPERATION:
RESTAURANT: All-day dining, 7 days a week, 102 seats
11:45am to 10:30pm (11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays)
BAR: 11:45am to 12:00am, 31 seats
Happy Hour ‘Buy one, get one’ from 4:00 to 6:00pm on weekdays
PRIVATE SALONS: Located on the second floor above the restaurant, the salons are comprised of
3 exquisitely designed rooms. Combined they can accommodate 60 guests.They can also be subdivided to host smaller groups and all types of events, according to guests’ needs.
For those guests opting to dine in the luxurious OFFICINE, a stunning 10-seat room set in an antique 19th century pharmacy from Bordeaux, the restaurant offers a specially created menu along with access to Alain Ducasse’s wine cellar.
The CUISINE: Executive Chef & Partner Pierre Schaedelin has created a menu of traditional French bistro cuisine such as pâté en croûte, escargots with garlic and parsley butter, egg mayo at $1 each, pike quenelles, roast chicken with French fries, steak aux poivres, classical French cheeses, to enticing recipes for millefeuille, traditional tarte tatin, and vanilla profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce.
The WINE: Benoit’s wine list features more than 200 selections of white and red references, from small French producers to the best years for California and Bordeaux.
TEAM: 80 associates in total
CHEF-CREATOR: Alain Ducasse
EXECUTIVE CHEF & Partner: Pierre Schaedelin Photo Credit: Copyright Melissa Hom
EXECUTIVE CHEF & Partner: Pierre Schaedelin
RESTAURANT MANAGERS: Leticia Pinson, Arnaud Demas, Thierry Chouquet
EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF: Alexandre Talpaert
SOMMELIER: Delphine Darosey
DIRECTOR OF PRIVATE DINING: Carrie McCully
DESIGN: To preserve tradition, elements from the enchanting Benoit in Paris and details from La Côte Basque have been woven into Benoit in New York’s design. The tableware is also meant to illustrate the balance of tradition and modernity. Several pieces are sourced from around the world, with many signature elements made exclusively for Alain Ducasse.
Review By Nancy Walman
BISTROT BENOIT NYC
(Another Success Story)
The Bar. Photo Credit: Copyright Melissa Hom
Located in the space formerly occupied by La Côte Basque, Manhattan’s Benoit echos Alain Ducasse’s original Benoit in Paris and represents an opportunity to recreate a unique bistro experience within a dynamic urban environment while still preserving the tradition and inviting feel of Benoit in Paris, which first opened its doors in 1912 and became part of the Groupe Alain Ducasse in April 2005 (There is also a Benoit in Tokyo).
The dining room is an airy space, with a ceiling that features a trompe l’oeil blue sky, blonde oak walls, large mirrors set throughout that give the room a sense of textured comfort, cozy red banquettes, and a mix of solid oak and zinc tables. Those who allow their eyes to wander will uncover Chef Ducasse’s private collection of individual miniature liquor bottles and special carafes that are featured in two antique vitrines at the back of the main dining room.To preserve tradition, elements from the original La Côte Basque have been woven into Benoit’s décor, such as the restaurant sconces and chandelier, cartoon medallions reminiscent of early 20th century Paris, and decades-old black and white photographs of patrons dining in the restaurant during years past.
The Cuisine, while classic, is tempered with contemporary touches that are in step with today’s life style such as jumbo lump crab salad, celery/apple remoulade and citrus dressing. Executive chef Pierre Schaedelin , a close collaborator of Ducasse since 2000, has composed a menu that respects tradition and technique. The menu’s clever charm is apparent in the dishes many of which are drawn from Benoit’s repertoire of 50 to 100 year old recipes.
The menu features a large variety of à la carte dishes, from appetizers to desserts, as well as a daily listing of specials. Appetizers include such French classics as a dense pâté en croûte, a superb foie gras and poached green asparagus with a mousseline sauce. Entrees offer pike quenelles with a Nantua sauce that are feather-light and not to be missed.
If you have but one entree, share the garlic roasted chicken with French fries L’ami Louis-style (a bargain at $42 for 2). It arrives whole for your inspection and then is beautifully sliced and served family style. The skin is crispy; the meat is moist; the garlic is heavenly. Other options include, steak au poivre with pommes soufflées and such perfect seafood as skate wing meunière, broccoli rabe, lemon, capers and brown butter sauce.
Finish your dinner with classical French cheeses like a selection of Coupole, Saint-Nectaire, Comté, Camembert, Fourme d’Ambert followed by an enticing dessert: millefeuille, vanilla profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce or the traditional tarte tatin. We adored the NOUGAT GLACÉ with pistachio ice-cream and passion fruit.
Benoit’s wine list features more than 200 selections of white and red references, with 65% of the list from the main wine producing regions in France and 35% from the United States. A unique selection of wines by the glass as well as wines from custom-designed carafes will also be available.Service is unpretentious, attentive and bistro-perfect.
Of all the bistros of New York, Benoit gets our vote for true Parisian experience with wonderful food, wines, welcoming service and the stamp of the masters: Alain Ducasse and EXECUTIVE CHEF & Partner: Pierre Schaedelin. That’s A Major.
Copyright 2009 By Punchin InternationalÂ®. All Rights Reserved.