Geoffrey Zakarian Opens the National


A mere two months after opening the Lambs Club, Geoffrey Zakarian has opened the National. Which is not to be confused with the National. This National is situated in Midtown’s Benjamin Hotel and is being billed by its flacks as Zakarian’s “vision of a contemporary New York grand café.”

That means American bistro food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including Berkshire pork belly Benedict, biscuits and gravy with duck confit, roast chicken with heirloom lemon potatoes, and grilled octopus with chorizo, fennel, cannellini beans, piperade, and pickled celery. And, of course, mac and cheese.

Decor-wise, expect a zinc-top bar, Thonet bar stools, and antique Parisian bistro chairs that will doubtless soon be filled by the well-tended bottoms of those who fancy themselves very important. If the Benjamin’s “sleep program” is any indication, the National is a restaurant that will know from coddling.