We returned to Benoit last Saturday—our third visit (past reviews here, here). The good news is that Benoit is doing well: it was as crowded as I’ve seen it since the opening weeks, this time last year. The bad news is that the service was slow, with long waits even for basic things, such as getting a wine list.
To start, we shared the charcuterie platter with cornichons and Dijon mustard ($42; below). Though nominally a serving for two, our group of three was unable to polish it off. Only at Bar Boulud have we seen a charcuterie assortment this good, this varied. I’m hard pressed to say which is better.
Unfortunately, that left us not very hungry for our main courses (not the restaurant’s fault). My girlfriend had the Steak aux Poivres ($38) and my mother the trio of Colorado Lamb ($36). Both struck us as competently done without being, in any sense, special.
The Braised Pork Shank ($21; above) was a fascinating dish, unlike anything I have ever seen. It was a hefty hunk of smoked ham, braised on the bone and flaked with a spicy mustard sauce. I am not a fan of smoked ham and probably wouldn’t have ordered it if I had realized how it was prepared—the menu just said “pork.” However, the dish was beautifully prepared, and I cannot really fault anything except the description.
Benoit is still uneven, but for its best items, the restaurant is well worth a return visit. The slow service dismayed us, but I am hoping we caught them on a bad night.