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Monsieur Benjamin Opens Today

Photo: Jared Schwartz/Hoodline
By Jared Schwartz - Published on July 09, 2014.
One year ago, we first shared that Corey Lee, chef-owner of Benu, would be opening a new restaurant in Hayes Valley. That day has finally come. Today, he and his team are  opening the doors to Monsieur Benjamin, and everyone's invited to check it out. 
Located at the corner of Gough and Ivy, on the ground floor of the new(ish) 300 Ivy residential building, Monsieur Benjamin is self-described as a "modern French bistro" that will serve as one of the few late-night dining options in the neighborhood. 

When we spoke to Lee in March, he said we could expect items like steak tartare (served with a silky egg yolk puree and thin sheets of anchovy and caramelized onion) and hazelnut ice cream with banana buttercream on the menu. But now we know exactly what the restaurant will be offering. 

Here's a copy of the menu that lists all the drinks, appetizers, oysters, main courses, cheeses and desserts. As SFGate points out, the menu is "very big, clocking in at over 40 dishes scattered over five categories."

The chef, Jason Berthold, formerly worked with Corey Lee when they both were at the The French Laundry (along with Charles Bililies, owner of Souvla). According to SFGate, everyone in he kitchen has previously worked together, and the team has been creating their menu for the past year.

The space was designed by Aidlin Darling, the same firm that did Bar Agricole in SoMa and the office space for Chronicle Books. The restaurant has 110 seats, and while you'll be able to make a reservation, they plan on saving half of those for walk-ins. 

"In addition to just being excited to be open, period, and in such a great neighborhood, we are looking forward to bringing late night dining to Hayes Valley," said Carey Snowden, who handles PR for Benu and Monsieur Benjamin. "In a few weeks, we'll have our outdoor dining and brunch going, which we're excited about too."

Beginning today, Monsieur Benjamin is open 5pm to 1am every night for dinner. They plan on opening for weekend lunch/brunch starting later this month. 

You can check out our interview with Lee to learn more about his ideas for the new restaurant, his thoughts on the neighborhood, and where he heads for cheap eats in the city.
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