Who doesn’t love a steakhouse? That’s what I thought. But when it comes to picking which is a cut above the rest it is no easy feat. With this specific GG mission I wanted to expand my horizons and explore outside the box of our precious little gem. After hearing about how amazing Benjamin Steakhouse is and how their empire is not only booming but growing I couldn’t help but wonder ‘who are these amazing masterminds behind this smashing success?!’ and I just knew that I had to meet them, obvi. Read below for the fabulous interview with Westchester Restaurateurs & Benjamin Steakhouse Owners Benjamin Prelvukaj and Ben Sinanaj.
PS: also, read all about their marvelous latest venture, Sea Fire Grill, below!
xx Greenwich Girl.
Benjamin Steakhouse Locations:
610 Hartsdale Rd
White Plains, NY
52 E 41st St
New York, NY
The Sea Fire Grill:
158 E 48th St
New York, NY 10017
What made you open Benjamin Steakhouse? Can you tell me about the conception of the restaurant group?
I always had a passion to start my own business, but it was not until I was in college while working at Peter Luger Steakhouse that I began to realize that my passion was hospitality.
I was amazed by the draw and the power of amazing ingredients; people were coming from all over the world to Brooklyn to try the steaks. I did feel strongly that there were ways to improve the operation though, and I began dissect the inner workings of the business, both the successes and failures.
After a few years of hard work, and a lot of planning in my head, I convinced Chef Arturo McLeod to leave Peter Luger’s and join me in building Benjamin Steakhouse. Now I just needed the right location, and I stumbled upon the century old Chemist Club building. While others had failed in the location before, I was determined to make my dream a reality.
What distinguishes Benjamin Steakhouse from other restaurants in Westchester and NYC?
At Benjamin Steakhouse, we are so passionate about the overall dining experience, and that reads as genuine to the guests.
First, we dry-age all of our steaks in house for 28 days, that takes a lot of money, time, and care, but the result is the absolute best product, and I don’t want to serve anything other than the best.
Second, our ultimate focus is the guest experience. I am on the floor every single night, meeting new people, and talking to old friends. I appreciate feedback, I want to know all of the details of what’s happening at the restaurants and I want to remember the details of the guests. If someone loves a specific table, or a certain wine, I want to ensure that they have everything they need to turn an ordinary meal into a great memory.
What is the absolute must have dish on the menu for a newbie?
Definitely the Porterhouse. This is the signature of Benjamin Steakhouse, and when it comes to the table you know why. The Porterhouse is the best of both worlds, tenderloin and strip steak served on a sizzling platter.
Are there options for non-steak lovers? What are they?
Of course, the Chilean Sea Bass is one of my favorite items on the menu. We are just as passionate about the seafood as we are about the steaks. Another favorite is the ‘Creamless’ Creamed Spinach, I eat it least once a day.
You recently opened The Sea Fire Grill- a restaurant with a different concept then Benjamin Steakhouse. Can you tell me more about the concept behind The Sea Fire Grill?
The Sea Fire Grill offers approachable, contemporary American seafood that takes cues from our steakhouse background offering guests an elegant, classic dining experience. The Sea Fire Grill is a marriage of Steak and Seafood, but the consistency in product and experience is the most important aspect.
What are some of the best dishes on the menu at The Sea Fire Grill?
I have a few favorites: the Yellowfin Tuna has a super flavorful crust and is served over bok choy, the Lobster Roll and Lobster Trio are summer favorites and are better than anything I have found in the Hamptons, and of course I love the Surf and Turf!
You have expanded your restaurant empire in a short period of time. What is next for Benjamin Steakhouse?
I hope the expansion continues – I will keep you posted!
For The GG readers- any plans of expansion into Greenwich any time soon?
I would love to! It is a great area with an abundance of already great restaurants and I would love to add to that scene.