Jonathan Benno’s fine-dining restaurant inside the Evelyn Hotel in Nomad may feel “dated” — but his French- and Italian-leaning dishes are “delicious,” writes Pete Wells in a three-star review in the Times.
Benno serves “disarmingly modest” dishes like a cold slice of fish terrine whose bouillabaisse flavors catch the critic’s attention, Wells writes. He enjoys a seafood spaghetti dish made with grano arso, or burnt wheat flour, and the grilled lamb saddle steak:
Lamb saddle, with grill marks that could come from a steakhouse, is served with fairytale eggplant and Thumbelina carrots. Each vegetable in this miniature garden is planted in a purée or a reduced essence of itself. Each is very good, and the carrots are fantastic. Alongside them sits lamb breast that has been pressed into a rich little brick coated in bread crumbs. One corner of this brick sits in a dark-green spread that tastes like gremolata. Not one combination of flavors on this plate is original, and it doesn’t matter at all.
Wells writes that the restaurant is anything but “forward-looking,” with a menu that never touches on modern-day culinary subjects like fermented vegetables, foraging, immigration, food deserts, or hashtags. But Benno’s wine list, on the other hand, contrasts the restaurant’s “dated” atmosphere, with natural selections and “super-Tuscans” available, Wells writes. Three stars.