557 Lexington Avenue at 50th Street, MIdtown
Status: Certified Open
Today, Geoffrey Zakarian opens his newest baby, The National in the historic Benjamin Hotel in Midtown. This is of course Zakarian’s second hotel restaurant of the fall, following the opening of The Lamb’s Club in the Chatwal, which just nabbed a Sifton star last week. The menu at the new joint is full of traditional European bistro dishes executed with Zakarian's modern American touch. The chef/restaurateur tapped his former Country sous Paul Corsentino to be the Executive Chef.
The dining room was designed to recall the opulent, grand cafés of Europe — think lots of antique mirrors, windows onto the street, cushy blue leather booths and a zinc bar. The 125-seat restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from 7AM-1AM. For breakfast, expect traditional egg dishes alongside more creative fare like duck confit biscuits and gravy, salads, sandwiches and burgers for lunch, and for dinner, things like steak frites, pastas, chops, seafood entrees, and a seasonal dessert program from Executive Pastry Chef Marisa Croce. The National's open for dinner tonight, do send any early reports our way.
Previous Coverage: Plywood, 10/03; First Word, 08/03
Further Reading: Diner's Journal, 08/02;