Apparently meat is the ultimate unifier, as it’s bringing together the disparate refined French bistro, Benoit, and down-home American barbecue spot, Hometown Bar-B-Que. The two are teaming up for a series of dinners at Benoit that blend their respective ingredients and techniques.
“I met Mr. Ducasse about a year and a half ago, and we really hit it off. It’s definitely the odd couple, but we’re both passionate about our craft,” Hometown Bar-B-Que chef-owner, Billy Durney told Eater. According to Durney, Alain Ducasse, Benoit’s chef-owner, often makes a point to visit his restaurant while in town, even bringing in the entire Benoit kitchen staff to dine at Hometown, including brand-new executive chef, Laetitia Rouabah.
Rouabah has been leading the Benoit kitchen for three months now, and that, combined with a recent, light renovation of the restaurant, has brought in a new sensibility that the Benoit team wants the world to know about. Hence these dinners, which Durney described as, “two people who come from different places who have similar passions and can come together to create great stuff.”
To that end, Durney and Rouabah have created a menu together of four small bites to kick off the meal, three savory courses, and dessert. Expect things like consomme with sliced smoked pork jowl and crispy pork cracklings, smoked beef cheeks Bourguignon with crispy gnocchi, and strawberry composition with smoked fromage blanc sorbet, as well as some surprises. Durney and Rouabah have been spending entire days in each other’s kitchens to prepare.
“Don’t come in expecting this luxe St. Tropez or Monaco experience, but we’re very committed to making this a really beautiful night for everybody,” Durney says. “This is two people who really respect each other and have a great new friendship, having fun.”
The $95 dinners will occur every Tuesday in April; Call Benoit at (646) 943-7373 to snag a ticket.