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New Neighbor: Benno

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is glad to announce the opening of Benno, the eponymous fine-dining restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine. The menu focuses on the area where Italy and France meet at Liguria and Provence, while highlighting additional regions along the Mediterranean coast. The beverage program explores the unique wines and spirits from these provinces, with options for both cocktail and wine pairings that complement the arc of the cuisine. 

Located in the landmarked hotel The Evelyn, the historic space—which dates back to 1905—was meticulously restored by the award-winning Parts and Labor Design. Featuring a rich color palette of deep reds, blues, and greens; custom furniture with brass and marble accents; and a 14’ domed skylight above the main dining room, the Art Deco-inspired space blends the grandeur of “old New-York” with a modern aesthetic reflective of the new take on fine dining the team is looking to achieve. The design, cuisine, and service at Benno all aim to create a sense of elegance and refinement, but also fun and celebration.

Grounded in classic French technique, the cuisine represents Chef Benno’s three decades of experience working in and running some of the world’s most prestigious fine-dining restaurants, as well as his continuous pursuit of knowledge, inspiration, and evolution as a Chef. Says Benno, “We wanted to challenge ourselves to go beyond Italy and France, pushing our own boundaries as we explore the diverse flavors, ingredients, and spirits of the Mediterranean region.” The menu is separated into four sections: Vegetables & Grains, Seafood & Meat, Pastas, and Mains, and guests are invited to select three, four, or five courses. 

Highlights include an Olive Oil Braised Abalone with mushroom, crouton, capers, lemon, and parsley vinaigrette; Spaghetti Di Grano Arso with clams, sea urchin, and scallions; and Long Island Pekin Duck foie gras with turnips and pistachio-date brik. Dessert, from Pastry Chef Lindsey Bittner, include Pear with goat cheese, phyllo saffron, and almonds; Flan with rosemary, poached cranberries, and brown butter gelato; and Babka with dark chocolate, pistachio halva, and coffee cardamom gelato.

Benno's beverage program is composed by Wine Director Aaron Von Rock (formerly of Lincoln Ristorante) and is meant to mirror the geographic scope of Chef Benno's cuisine. The 250-label wine list includes a robust section showcasing “The Mediterranean Tableau,” with both classic regional wines and unique finds from France, Italy, and Spain. To add a bit of fun and flair—and incorporate a collection of distinct older wines sourced by Von Rock—the list includes additional Feature Sections such as “Nebbiolo Season,” The Brunello Library,” and “Bordeaux’s Great ’05 Vintage.” Similarly, cocktails incorporate the distinct spirits found across the Mediterranean region, including several barrel-aged preparations that help harmonize complex flavors. Benno also offers the unique option for both wine or cocktail pairings, guided by the beverage team, to complement any meal. 

Designed by Parts and Labor Design, the main dining room is defined by a dramatic 14’ diameter skylight from which hangs a multi-part Art Deco-inspired light fixture made of brass, serving as a sculptural element within the space. Custom furniture includes tables with brass and marble accents and deep blue leather seats with brass detailing, all of which contribute to an elevated dining experience. To the right is a 10-seat bar topped in dark honed marble and lined with plush custom bar stools. The stunning 30-seat Private Dining Room was the space most preserved during the renovation process, with original wood paneling, molding, and a fireplace that has been transformed into a hidden liquor display cabinet. 

Benno is the third and final project to open in The Evelyn Hotel this year, marking the culmination of Chef Benno’s life-long dedication to the hospitality profession. He notes, “Five years ago I saw a unique opportunity to do everything I’ve ever done in my career in one space in this beautiful landmarked building—a Roman-inspired pastry shop (Leonelli Focacceria), a casual Italian trattoria (Leonelli Taberna), and a fine-dining French Mediterranean restaurant. 

Benno opens Thursday, November 8th. Dinner service is available Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 pm to 10 pm. 

Benno, 7 East 27th Street, (212) 451-9557

Photo Credit: Alex Staniloff

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Come celebrate our holiday installation launch 11/19, 6 pm! ✨Enjoy @shakeshackhot chocolate, @ililiboxbites, and music by @thejazzgallery!PLUS our Prize Wheel - take a spin and win prizes from local businesses ❄️🎁 #HappyinFlatiron . More info in bio! ⬆️
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