The Preopening Hype for Jonathan Benno’s Post–Per Se Restaurant Has Begun!

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Remember when the Times ran that piece about bloggers burdening restaurants with preopening hype? Well, former Per Se chef Jonathan Benno’s Lincoln Center restaurant doesn’t open till next September (heck, operators Nick Valenti and Joachim Splichal haven’t even named it yet), but the Paper of Record is already calling it “among the most anticipated [openings] of 2010”: “The degree of difficulty for all of them is high, as is the opportunity for distinction — or disaster.” Whoa! Anyway, let’s skip all that newspaper hyperbole and get right to the nitty gritty, shall we? Here are the details laid forth in the article.

• It will have a “high-end contemporary Italian” menu, according to Nick Valenti. Average check: $130 per person.
• Among the list of 300 possible names is Sud (pronounced “sood.”). Eh.
• The restaurant will be “a newly built freestanding restaurant, one of the few in New York. The wedge-shaped building, which zooms from zero height to 23 feet, will appear to break from the ground like an ice floe or a rising continental plate, its roof softening the boxy bulk of the travertine Lincoln Center campus.”
• There will be a “lawn roof” that will serve as a public picnic area.
• The “glass-walled restaurant” will feature “reception areas, a private dining room, restrooms, elevator, kitchen prep and storage.”
• “Benno has wanted to present in an upscale pan-Italian restaurant with à la carte and prix fixe offerings ‘so guests can have everything from a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine to seven-course tastings.’ Menus, showcasing changing ingredients from local purveyors, will focus on ‘the quality of preparation and service in a building that will offer a singular experience,’ he said.”

The Chef Enters, Center Stage [NYT]

The Preopening Hype for Jonathan Benno’s Post–Per Se Restaurant Has