A new Southern-inspired restaurant from a team with experience at upscale restaurants like Jean-Georges, Olmsted, and Gramercy Tavern will open in Crown Heights next month. Matt Rudolph, Larry Glogau, Max Glogau, and executive chef Sean Underwood will soon debut the Benjamin at 698 Nostrand Ave., between St. Marks Avenue and Prospect Place.
The menu from Underwood, who previously worked at Dirty French and Jean-Georges, is still in the works, but there will be a burger and étouffée, as well as fried chicken for two or four. Snacks, small plates, entrees, and sides will be on the menu, and Rudolph — who previously worked front-of-house at Gramercy Tavern and Prospect Heights favorite Olmsted — says nose-to-tail butchery, pickling, and preservation will be a focus.
“You can come in on a Tuesday and just do a small bite and a beer, or you can come in with your family that’s visiting on Saturday and go ham with a full menu experience,” Rudolph says.
The drink menu will center on cocktails, and there will also be 15 wines by-the-glass, ranging from $9 to $14. Those will cover the bases of sparklings, roses, reds, and whites. Diners will also be able to bring their own wine for a corkage fee of $25, a feature for people in the neighborhood who work in the restaurant industry. Andrew Mitchell serves as bar manager and currently works with Frank’s Wine Bar.
It’s quite the team running the 47-seat restaurant: Besides the range of finer dining experience, the general manager and owner Larry Glogau opened the Alligator Lounge in Williamsburg, a party spot known for karaoke nights as well as the free pizzas that come with drinks.
But the team says they want the Benjamin to be a different speed, adding to the growing presence of neighborhood restaurants in the area with strong cocktail programs like Hunky Dory. It’s slated to open by the end of May.