Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Home > Restaurants > Benoit

Benoit

60 W. 55th St., New York, NY 10019 40.762439 -73.976864
nr. Sixth Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
646-943-7373 Send to Phone

    Reserve a Table

  • Cuisine: Bistro, French
  • Price Range: $$$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating: *

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating:

    6 out of 10

      |  

    4 Reviews | Write a Review

Photo by Melissa Hom

Share this listing

Official Website

benoitny.com

Hours

Daily, 11:45am-11pm

Nearby Subway Stops

F at 57th St.; N, Q, R at 57th St.-Seventh Ave.

Prices

$19 to $48

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Bar Scene
  • Brunch - Weekend
  • Business Lunch
  • Dine at the Bar
  • Hot Spot
  • Lunch
  • Notable Chef
  • Notable Wine List
  • Private Dining/Party Space
  • Prix-Fixe
  • Online Reservation

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Recommended

Profile

The argument could be made, understandably but perhaps incorrectly, that New Yorkers appreciate real bistros. It is a trend that seems to be perpetually cresting. A wave of exciting French cooking (think Le Coucou, Le Coq Rico, and Mimi) hit the city in 2016, but those restaurants weren’t bistros. Furthermore, many of the city’s most famous bistros are simulacra “bistros” (the main progenitor being Keith McNally, who began his career in theater). Meanwhile, Alain Ducasse’s Benoit, which occupies the space once home to La Côte Basque, has always been a little bit too real to be real. It was designed to fit the French idea of a bistro, which differs from the New York idea of a bistro.

Here we mistake tradition for comfort, which means a lot of roast chickens and crispy frites. But true bistros can also be ambitious. When Ducasse opened an outlet of his casual bistro-brasserie in 2008 in Jean-Jacques Rachou’s old Le Côte Basque space on 55th Street, the city’s dwindling number of French snobs (okay, basically just this French snob) were scandalized by the slimy, rock-hard quenelles; the overcooked, overpriced chicken; and the grim, watery quality of the onion soup. Benoit had, as even Ducasse admits, a rough go of it early on. Critical pans caused Ducasse to replace his original chef two years, but former Payard and (briefly) Balthazar chef Sebastien Rondier righted the ship. After the restaurant received a glowing review from the Times and was named by the city’s best bistro by us, Ducasse scrapped it and started over. He replaced the famous blue-sky trompe l’oeil mural with flat white, and turned the dark-stained walls white, removed the fussy lights, and switched to muted terra-cotta plates like you’d find at a New American spot in Bushwick.

 The kitchen also took a new direction. The latest chef to run the restaurant is Laetitia Rouabah, who worked for Ducasse for 13 years before coming to New York to quietly take over the best bistro in Manhattan — an island with no shortage of red banquettes, country baguettes, and blanquette de veau. Though her remit is to reinvent the menu, Rouabah will keep a few classics, especially during lunch. But even that has been gut-renovated. The cooking is sly, slightly subversive, and ambitious. Think sea bass ringed with orange-peel-studded seaweed and torrefied spelt with milk-and-garlic foam, duck foie gras terrine with fall fruit chutney, and tarte Tatin to share.

Bar

The bar area is open daily from noon to midnight.

Lunch Special
The three-course $21 lunchtime prix fixe is one of the better deals in midtown.

Ideal Meal

Tarte flambée, $12; cassoulet, $29

Related Stories

New York Magazine Reviews

Advertising
Advertising