It is about that time...introducing the Benjy's On Washington new fall menu! For those that visit Benjy's on a fairly consistent basis, you are aware of the frequency that Benjy changes their menu (approximately 4 times per year). We love this concept for many reasons, including the fact that the menu aligns with the freshest ingredients of the season and it also gives you the opportunity to try something new and that you may have not tried otherwise, which is our mantra.
We recently got the opportunity to visit Benjy's to taste several dishes from their upcoming menu. Boy were we impressed because the menu includes some very interesting and unique dishes! For our first course, we had a trio of sashimi, onigiri, and panna cotta. The "Yaki Onigiri" blew our socks off (made with David Cater's eggplant and cilantro). Next we tried the Texas Wild Shrimp. This was a great course even with the fried shrimp heads! This is one of those things we normally would not try so we took ourselves out of our "box" for this one. In turn, we got a pleasant surprise...they were really good. Two of our favorites were the "Barrel Grouper" (with braised celery, black hill farm pork, forest mushrooms and tomato oil) and the "Broken Arrow Ranch Boar" (with gnocchi, celery root puree, shiso, and pola cheese). The gnocchi was the bomb and the grouper paired with the salty pork was a clear winner! Urban Girl will never admit it, but she only tried it because she thought the boar meat was oxtail...lol! However, it was awesome!!! Last, we thoroughly enjoyed the "Cinnamon Bread Pudding" (with pecan crunch "pop rocks" and white chocolate ice cream). The unique twist on "pop rocks" is the very reason Benjy’s continues to wow us. They are not only creative, but they know how to excite and stimulate our palettes.
The vibe in this restaurant is amazing; super hip and posh without trying too hard. When you initially enter, you will notice there are two levels (upstairs and downstairs). Off to the left of the first level dining, and situated right next to the kitchen, is a tall communal table that seats twelve (AKA - The Chefs Table). You can't help but take in your surroundings and enjoy the ambiance. Benjy's is quite the "scene" with both upstairs and downstairs bars. Overall, Benjy's is a place we would go any time of the day for brunch, lunch and dinner; and we often do! The new fall menu is available starting, Saturday, October 1, 2011. It is definitely worth a visit or two. And don't be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone with food. You will be surprised at what you get in return.
~ Urban Swank