Bar Benno Opens in the Former Leonelli Restaurant and Bar Space


Now that it’s time to begin reopening his restaurants in the Evelyn Hotel in NoMad, the chef Jonathan Benno and his partners decided to do more than simply turn the key. In the space that was Leonelli Restaurant and Bar, they’ve pivoted from Italian to French, with the bar, tables and an open kitchen dedicated to bistro fare, and changed the name to Bar Benno. The elegant flagship Benno, which has three stars from The New York Times, in the back of the space will not change, except to feature more seafood when it’s ready for diners in a month or so. But now, fitted with a huge back bar and a U-shaped counter with seating, the new spot, called Bar Benno, will feature a cold seafood selection, and hors d’oeuvres like escargots, egg in a potato crust, pâté de campagne, and Basque-style tripe on its classic menu. Main courses include rotisserie chicken, steak au poivre and bourride, a rich Provençal seafood stew rarely seen on New York menus. Fries will come alongside steamed mussels, a French dip sandwich and steak tartare. From 5 to 7 p.m., with aperitifs and cocktails, there will be savories like deviled eggs with caviar, salmon rillettes, white anchovies with bread and butter, and fried pig’s trotter with sauce gribiche. “I didn’t feel it was enough just to reopen as we were before,” Mr. Benno said. “I’ve been cooking French most of my whole career, so I’m very comfortable with this. Fortunately, we did not have to do a big renovation.” Mr. Benno also said that it was difficult for Leonelli Restaurant and Bar, an Italian taverna, to establish its own personality. But, he said, offering bistro fare in a space that’s something of a prelude to the Benno dining room and that leans toward France made more sense. A taste of Italy with flatbread pizzas, breads and pastries remains available in Leonelli Bakery in the front of the building. (Opens Friday)

7 East 27th Street, 212-451-9557,

Therdtus (Tony) Rittaprom has owned PuTawn, a Thai restaurant on the Upper East Side, with Chanchai (Charles) Khampinchai, since 2016. And now, they have renamed the restaurant and turned it into a focused Northern Thai spot with a menu of 14 categories. The offerings incorporate many dishes from Zabb Elee in Jackson Heights, Queens, which Mr. Rittaprom owned and where he served as chef from 2010 to 2015. (An East Village branch of Zabb Elee was open for part of that time.) Among the choices are naem gradook moo (deep-fried fermented pork ribs cured with sticky rice), larb moo kua (pork, liver, skin and long peppers), and yum pu dong (blue crab in fish sauce with herbs, lime and chiles). The vast menu includes categories like papaya salads (seven of them), larb, spicy salads, grilled meat salads, five noodle soups (in addition to a few milky spicy soups), and 17 dishes under the heading of pad and rad kow (“from the wok and over rice dishes”). They accept reservations for their 28 seats.


1584 First Avenue (83rd Street), 212-988-8800,

This branch of Pokeworks, a chain of dozens of quick-serve poke spots in 19 states, Canada and Mexico, is on the ground floor of an office building adjacent to Hudson Yards and doesn’t have outdoor seating. The restaurant, opened by Albert Yeh, offers set combinations for Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls, and the option of designing your own as a bowl, a burrito or a salad.

330 West 34th Street, 917-261-6361,

After opening this brewpub in a former Park Slope, Brooklyn, garage a year ago, Marina Charny and Oleg Kaziev, the owners, have branched into Manhattan. But, unlike the original location, this outpost isn’t in a former garage. There are 24 craft beers on tap on a rotating menu. On the food side, there are wings, nachos, pizza and a burger.

118 Christopher Street (Bedford Street), 646-490-4301,


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