339-A 2nd St., Brooklyn, NY, 11215
nr. Fifth Ave.
By CBrooklyn on 1/26/2013
I am an avid diner of Brooklyn's many wonderful restaurants, but unfortunately Benchmark proved to be a disappointment! The service was terrible and the food was mediocre. It began with my friend asking our server to tell her about the fish dishes on the menu as she was having difficulty seeing it in the cozy, but dim lighting. The server said, "Well maybe if you use the candle you will be able to see it better." My sister and friend ordered hot tea and the water was tepid. When we asked the server if she could bring hotter water, she told us that the water was hot because it came from the machine. Why not just say ok and bring back hot water that actually had visible steam and felt hot? As we sat, waiting we noticed that bread was being served. Every table save our table received a bread basket. Even after two requests, the bread took another 10 minutes to arrive. I then had to ask the server to bring bread plates and she asked if each person needed a plate, as opposed to just bringing three plates. For my meal, I ordered the short ribs appetizer and the tuna, both arrived cold. Not wanting to ask for anything else, I left half of the tuna, as it was inedible. The one thing that was great about the food was the bread pudding. The other positive is that it is an attractive looking restaurant, but neither of these things would ever make me go back.
By hrase77 on 7/15/2011
The bread was stale and the flavored butter was weathered, like it had been sitting in the fridge w/o plastic wrap. My salmon was perfectly cooked, but everything else was off, like it had been made by a home cook experimenting beyond his abilities: the sauce was a murky purple and bland; the 'horseradish crust' looked like suet but tasted like a vaguely radishy Weetabix; the beet risotto was just overcooked rice (and it didn't seem like they'd used short grain, let alone arborio rice). The side of brussel sprouts with pork belly were overcooked and the bacon was gummy. Aside from its big garden area, I can't understand why this restaurant is a critic's pick.
By vwingerath on 4/26/2011
This restaurant has really good food and pretty good prices, but my experience with their service was bad enough that I will probably never go back. My fiancee and I went for brunch when they first opened. We waited 20 minutes to be seated even though there were several open tables. Other people were waiting too. We were told "there is a waiting list". Definitely not true. Then we waited 10 minutes for the waiter to even come to our table and that was after I asked the hostess to send our waiter. Our food took forever, but even though I was very angry when it finally came I could still acknowledge that it was prepared well. It's possible that their service has smoothed out now that they're not so young anymore but I probably won't be willing to find out myself.