Columbus Circle: It's been long known that Per Se talent and executive chef from the get-go Jonathan Benno would be leaving the mothership come January. But today, Flo Fab gets on the blog to reveal the details of his new project. Scheduled to open in about a year, Benno will helm (drum roll!) a restaurant...being built...in the plaza of Lincoln Center? Near the Vivian Beaumont Theater? Just blocks away from Per Se. Once a fancy uptown boy, always a fancy uptown boy.
Co-owned by the Patina Restaurant Group—the space was formerly called Patina at Lincoln Center—Benno envisions the restaurant to be set up in the style of Gramercy Tavern, with a cafe, a more formal dining room, and a pdr. And as mentioned earlier, he has the blessings of the Honorable Thomas Keller to leave:
Says the chef:
I’m going to be 40 and it’s time...To this point, being the chef de cuisine at Per Se has been the greatest honor of my career, but I’m the chef de cuisine in Thomas’s restaurant. I feel very strongly about the style of the restaurant and the cuisine that I want to work at, and Lincoln Center will allow me to direct the cuisine and manage it.It's not the mind-blowing move some were envisioning, but hell, whatever he does there, it'll be good: the dude's got talent. Maybe he'll revolutionize pre-theater fare and grab some stars along the way.
· Jonathan Benno Leaving Per Se For New Lincoln Center Restaurant [Diner's Journal]