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Restaurant Openings

Week of November 1, 2010: The National.

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With the National, his self-styled “grand café,” Geoffrey Zakarian becomes the latest celebrity chef to run the restaurant at the Benjamin Hotel. (When the property opened eleven years ago, Larry Forgione relocated his seminal An American Place there; three years later, Terrance Brennan replaced it with a high-end steakhouse.) But Zakarian just might be the perfect fit: He’s a veteran of 44 at the Royalton, the Blue Door at the Delano, Town, and Country—not to mention the Lambs Club. (See Adam Platt’s review here.) The bi-level space, designed by David Rockwell, will provide continuous service from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., plus free wi-fi, and the American bistro menu includes breakfast dishes like biscuits and gravy with duck confit, skate Grenobloise at lunch and dinner, and steamed pumpkin cake with Concord grapes for dessert (557 Lexington Ave., at 50th St.; 212-715-2400).


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