Benoit, a classic Parisian bistro that recently celebrated its 100th birthday, was purchased by Alain Ducasse in 2005.  It became the only brasserie in Paris to hold a Michelin star.  Ducasse opened a NYC counterpart in 2008 aiming to serve traditional bistro cuisine with modern technique and a lighter touch.  It had big shoes to fill:  this is the former space of La Côte Basque, one of the city’s all-time great French restaurants.  Although it got off to something of a rocky start, we think Benoit is now one of the three finest bistros in the city. 

With blond wood walls, antique mirrors, engraved glass panels, a trompe-l'œil ceiling and red velvet banquettes, the Belle Époque atmosphere is everything that you would expect, but no less charming for being predictable.  One of the most impressive things about Benoit is its affordability.  It is also the site of the best $75 bottle of wine we’ve ever purchased: a red Chassagne-Montrachet from Domaine Ramonet. 

But the restaurant is more than simply a good value.  It has outstanding versions of some of the classics:  thin crusted tarte flambée topped with cream, onions and lardoons; a divine duck à l’orange; perfectly crisp roast chicken; and a cassoulet so rich you will sweat pork for the ensuing 24 hours. 


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Midtown East
60 W. 55th St.
New York (nr. Sixth Ave.)
Mon-Sat, 11:45am-11pm; Sun, 11:30am-2:30am and 5:30pm-11pm
    Philippe Bertineau , Chef
    Alain Ducasse, Restaurateur