Big Benu

Fine Dining on Hawthorne Lane

None 3 Photos Benu
Not all date spots are created equal.

And today, we’ve stumbled upon one that might just find itself getting comfortable in the top slot of your chivalry-is-not-dead list…

Welcome Benu, a brand new luxe little hideout, tucked away on Hawthorne Street and opening next Tuesday to graciously accommodate your next big date.

We’re not saying this place should be used sparingly, but the tiny nook of a room has the feel of a cozy, ivory-hued, highly curated gallery of food and drink (so use it sparingly). Which means you might expect stiff service and white tablecloths, but instead you’ll find black ash tables and an open-air courtyard.

But even before you see the courtyard, the Zen-like trellised entrance sets a deliberate, leisurely mood for the whole meal. There’s no bar (but plenty of champagne), so reserve the table in the northwest corner set up for side-by-side dining, and be prepared to settle in for a night of gradually building electricity (that the bubbly will help).

Since your attention will be on more important things (like keeping the flutes filled), you’ll want to lean on the tasting menu. Upwards of 20 obscure dishes—like Snapping Turtle Velouté with Langoustines—will keep the night moving along and the wines flowing.

But if you prefer to augment that with your own bottles (and why wouldn’t you), you can buy into the lockers in the cellar, which they call “air-handled vaults.”

Of the sort Swiss financiers would approve.


22 Hawthorne Street
(at New Montgomery)
San Francisco, CA, 94105


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