The restaurant is tucked away off the street in a small, ivy-covered brick building that was used in the 1920s-40s as a way station and ice house for goods transported on the Gowanus Canal. The New York strip--dry-aged, bone-in--is a marvel of char and blood, the meat's minerality unfurling in your mouth as you chew. Cooked medium-rare and finished with a generous sprinkle of sea salt, it needs no adornment. A bowl of gazpacho ($9) topped with fried croutons and a bit of lump crab meat makes a sprightly seasonal appetizer. But a good rule for ordering at Benchmark is the simpler the better. If it sounds overwrought, it probably is.
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When Benchmark -- Park Slope's only true steakhouse -- opened this spring without signage, it seemed to to be going for that tired "secret restaurant" cachet. Thankfully, now a large sign announces the restaurant's existence. Still,...