Jonathan Benno Reflects on One Year of Lincoln

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Benno seems pleased.

One year after Lincoln opened to bipolar reactions, Grub Street spoke to Jonathan Benno at the Identità event at Eataly about the journey thus far. Benno predicated the conversation by reminding us, "We've only been open for a year, and great restaurants take years to build. It takes years to build clientele, to define the heart of a restaurant." He says of the upside, "We've taken the time and worked very, very hard every day trying to make one little thing at the restaurant better. And you do that 365 times in a row, and you're left with something that we're very, very proud of." And the downside? "We opened a really big restaurant on the campus of Lincoln Center, and there were high expectations because of where I came from, the scope of the project, the size of the restaurant, the costs of the building, and all of the things people were very, very critical of when we opened. That's kind of settled now and people see the restaurant for what it is." What's next for chef Benno? "We want to continue every day to pick one thing at the restaurant and make it a little bit better."