REVIEW #12

Lincoln Ristorante

In the fall of 2010, Lincoln Ristorante was opened as part of the newly refurbished Lincoln Center in an enormous glass pavilion designed by Diller, Scofido + Renfro, the architectural firm also overseeing the Lincoln Center renovation. It was immediately heralded as one of the best new restaurants in the country. This is unsurprising given the expense ($20 million spent on the restaurant alone) and the chef at the helm (Jonathan Benno). Benno has a dazzling pedigree that would be the envy of any aspiring chef: The French Laundry, Daniel, Auberge du Vieux Puits, Gramercy Tavern, Craft, then back to The French Laundry to prepare for the opening of Per Se in 2004, then Per Se for six years. His modern Italian cuisine bears all the technical precision, respect for high quality ingredients and passion for perfection that you would expect of someone with such a background.

The restaurant’s design was conceived on a scale to match the cuisine. The futuristic glass palace affords panoramic views of the Paul Milstein reflecting pool and has a sloping polished mahogany ceiling which supports a grass roof lawn on which visitors can stroll. There is a gleaming open kitchen, a marble bar and a glass wine tower. It’s an interesting contrast with Del Posto, whose design style could not be more different, but which is the other great Italian restaurant in the city with a grandly theatrical interior.

Benno’s traditional cuisine is an arresting juxtaposition with the modern setting. The homemade pastas are particularly noteworthy, including the cavatelli con vongole of clams, sweet peppers, lemon thyme and butter; the mezzi rigatoni all’astice, with Nova Scotia lobster, mascarpone cream, tarragon and chives; the ravioli d’agnello with lamb, black leaf kale, citrus gremolata and pecorino romano; and the bianco e nero, a dish featuring 2 pasta preparations – one with black truffles and one with white truffles. Antipasti include the asparagi bianchi (white asparagus with speck, duck egg, sucrine and horseradish agro-dolc), which contains massive asparagus and a duck egg that adds a wonderful counterpoint. The passera alle mandorle, flounder with asparagus, capers, lemon and breadcrumbs, is the best incarnation of the dish we have had in NYC. Wine Director Aaron von Rock oversees an impressive 400 bottle Italian wine list that wonderfully complements the food.

Lincoln Ristorante has improved dramatically since its opening in 2010, and it is now a restaurant of immense distinction and quality. There is an increasing awareness of this evolution in NYC culinary circles, and we believe that the restaurant’s stature will continue to grow.

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INFORMATION

Upper West Side
142 W. 65th St.
New York (nr. Broadway)
212-359-6500
Mon-Tues, 5:30pm-10:30pm, Wed, noon-2pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm, Thurs-Fri, noon-2pm, 5:30pm-11pm, Sat, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm, Sun, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm
    Jonathan Benno, Chef
    Richard Capizzi, Pastry Chef
    Aaron Von Rock, Wine Director
    Diller, Scofido + Renfro, Designer

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