Alain Ducasse's Benoit New York Featuring Truffles Throughout February
Benoit New York, the highly acclaimed French bistro that is part of the Alain Ducasse restaurant empire, is offering fresh black Périgord truffles throughout the month of February. The truffles can be shaved over any dish offered on the menu that features classic French bistro cuisine for a supplemental cost of $9 for 5 grams, which is the actual cost to the restaurant. The truffle pairing will be available through the end of February.
Benoit Executive Chef Philippe Bertineau suggests enjoying the truffle garnish atop a selection of dishes. In addition to the Maine Lobster Salad and Tarte Flambée, the truffle shavings work well with the Filet Mignon and Hand-chopped Beef Tartare.
"One of the dishes I recommended serving with truffles is our Seasonal Local Vegetable Cookpot," says Chef Philippe Bertineau told Luxist. "The Cookpot is an oven-to-table porcelain dish that Alain Ducasse created with designer Pierre Tachon specifically for cooking and serving vegetables. It's a modern adaptation of the traditional cooking pot used in France's rural regions, and all of Chef Ducasse's restaurants around the world offer a seasonal vegetable Cookpot dish that's composed of local vegetables."
"For the Cookpot at Benoit, we wanted to create a vegetarian dish using root vegetables---our version includes parsnips, carrots, potatoes, sunchokes, rutabaga, celery root, butternut squash and chestnuts layered over a mushroom duxelles and finished with fresh black truffle," adds Chef Bertineau, the former Executive Chef of Balthazar who joined Benoit in October. "All of the vegetables are cooked together and served in the Cookpot, and it's a wonderful dish for the wintertime."
The Cookpot dish pairs well with black truffles, says Bertineau, because essentially, the ingredients in the dish are all part of the root vegetable and mushroom families, so they share hearty and earthy flavors. "The ingredients have all been dug out from the ground, and we are cooking them back together within the Cookpot and their flavors just blend so well together," he explains. "The freshness of the black truffles, which are from Vaucluse in Provence and are used to finish the dish, have a wonderful aroma and give an added layer of earthiness to the vegetables."
Each of the dishes are perfectly paired with a vintage of Gigondas wine from the Rhône Valley that were specially selected for this occasion. "The wine pairing that we've selected is a Pierre Amadieu Cuvee Romaine Machotte 2008---it's a medium body wine from the Gigondas in the Rhône Valley," Chef Bertineau says. "It has a long finish and is just a little bit spicy, so it's the perfect complement to the Cookpot, the flavors of the root vegetables and the truffle."
Internationally acclaimed Chef Alain Ducasse opened Benoit in 2008. Ducasse wanted to recreate the early-20th-century décor of Benoit in Paris within the four walls of Benoit in New York. Everything from the tiling to the wood paneling, the red velvet banquettes to the copperware, the engraved panes of glass to the marble pedestals, the lamps and huge mirrors to the old posters adorning the walls echoes the feeling of the original Benoit. The restaurant seats 133 guests, including the 31-seat bar and 102-seat dining room on the main level. A 60-seat private dining room located on the second level can be subdivided into three smaller private dining salons: Saint Martin, Hôtel de Ville, and Rivoli, each named after streets leading to Benoit in Paris. Outdoor seating is be available during the warmer months.
Benoit New York offers lunch and dinner, featuring a large variety of à la carte dishes from appetizers to desserts as well as seasonal specials and several dishes inspired by Philippe's love of classic French cuisine. Benoit also offers a prix-fixe lunch menu featuring two courses for $22 and three courses for $28, while a prix-fixe dinner menu is available exclusively from 5:30pm to 6:30pm with two courses for $28 and three courses for $38.
Benoit New York is located at 60 West 55th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues in Manhattan. For reservations, call (646) 943 7373. Reservations can also be made online. Be sure to see Luxist's piece on celebrating Valentine's Day at Benoit New York.