I’ve been meaning to check out Jonathan Benno’s new restaurant, Lincoln, for quite some time but with my Michelin dining goal in 2010, I didn’t have much spare time in my schedule. Luckily, one of Dan’s friends was visiting from California and mentioned he’d like to dine with me at a restaurant of my choice. I picked Lincoln since after an email exchange it sounded like he’s been to every nice restaurant in New York (and restaurants all over the world).
We started off with some “breads” – Crisps brushed with Pork Fat and dusted with Parmigiano Reggiano and pepper:
And Red Pepper Flake Bread Sticks:
A server also brought along an amuse bouche – mushroom risotto with a phyllo-like wrapper:
We decided to share everything so we could try a variety of dishes – I started with the grigliata di gamberoni e calamari:
And David ordered the tartara di branzino:
The branzino came with castelvetrano olives, radishes, cucumber, and shaved fennel.
For our pasta course, we ordered the agnolotti di polenti al ragu di cinghiale:
The pasta was cooked a bit unevenly but the boar ragu with rosemary was really delicious.
For my main course, I ordered the veal chop with blue hubbard squash gnocco and red cabbage:
We wondered if gnocco was the singular tense of gnocchi (the server said yes after conferring with another server). The veal chop was tender and flavorful but the gnocco had muddled flavors.
David ordered the halibut with artichokes, new potatoes, cerignola olives, and mint:
We decided to pass on dessert but were given some mignardises:
There was shortbread, chocolate with hazelnuts, licorice, and financiers that were all very delicious. The meal was enjoyable but nothing even close to what you’d get at per se (or any Thomas Keller restaurant). The chef was working in the open kitchen the night we dined and looked like he was busy; the restaurant is less than six months old so I’m sure they’re still working out some kinks. The design is really open and airy on the first floor but the layout of the entrance is a little cramped (right when you enter, there’s the hostess stand as well as an elevator that takes you to the private dining and restrooms). I’m interested in their brunch pre-fixe menu ($36) but making it up to the upper west side on the weekend is probably going to be pretty difficult/next to impossible.