FOOD & DRINK: The Bennet (3.14.18)
As the city starts to thaw, we've been having fun trying some of the 'new to us' spots below Canal Street....you know....those restaurants, bars and shops that have been your 'to try' list that you have yet to experience. For us, The Bennet has been high on that list, especially with their epic drool-inducing Instagram page. The space, which you may know in its former incarnation (Petite Abeille), is a gorgeous cocktail lounge that has that warm, neighborhood feel (not an easy feat!). And, believe it or not, when we checked it out recently, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that not only were the cocktails worth the wait, it was also a kid-friendly venue that let us feel way cooler than we are.
We spoke with Elke van Bree, Founder of @Eightyfivestorie, who does the PR for The Bennet, to learn more about The Bennet, including it's cocktail legacy and how they keep it neighborhood chic...
Tell us about The Bennet...
The Bennett was previously a Belgian Restaurant, Petite Abeille and had been in the neighborhood for over 15 years. When the neighborhood changed, ownership converted the place to a modern cocktail lounge with a strong neighborhood feel. The Bennett is the little sister of Raines Law Room and Dear Irving, headed by Bar Director Meaghan Dorman, who designs the menu and trains all staff.
What are your favorite parts of being a part of a restaurant and bar below Canal Street?
It's a neighborhood with a strong community feel. People really care about their neighborhood and have strong connections to it. We feel this much more than with any other neighborhood we have clients in. It is important for the business to participate as much as possible and do its part to understand and work with the community. Even though The Bennett opened in 2015, the owners have been in business at this location in Tribeca for over 15 years. The neighborhood's demographics have changed, but the community feeling has always been strong.
How has the neighborhood impacted the evolution of The Bennet?
Obviously higher real estate pricing impacts the business bottom line, which can be challenging. The shift in demographics meant adjusting the way we reach out and promote The Bennett.
What makes The Bennet so unique?
It's a combination of both the sister bars Dear Irving and Raines Law Room (which we also represent): great cocktails in a well-designed setting (by Belgian Interior Designer Delphine Mauroit, who earned best bar design for Dear Irving). As the little sister, it combines these 2 components with a modern, Tribeca twist.
On Sunday The Bennett offers cocktail classes (link https://www.yjrgroup.com/cocktail-class) thought by Master Bartenders of the bars. The classes are pretty popular and the second series kicks off on March 4th and will run until the end of March. It's a great way to learn about the history of craft cocktails and get behind the bar to make your own.
What should locals know about The Bennet?
It's a friendly neighborhood place to come have craft cocktails and fare (easy plates such as burgers, avocado toast, fried calamari). The menu is seasonal, and you can ask your bartenders to mix you up anything according to your taste. Our current bestseller is the Xantolo (reposado tequila, mezcal, spiced pineapple, lime) The Aleppo & red pepper are matched with pineapple and agave: sweet and spicy! For the month of February The Bennett is running Rum Specials all month (to kick the winter blues!) Follow us on Instagram to get the latest updates:
What's coming up for The Bennet in 2018?
In a recent collaboration with our neighbor The Woolworth Building, Meaghan Dorman created a cocktail dedicated to The Woolworth, an elegant and refreshing cocktail:
.5 oz. Jasmine syrup
.5 oz. Giffard peach liqueur
3 oz. dry prosecco or cava
1 oz. seltzer
Build in wine glass. Garnish with 3 lemon wheels.
We've got more cocktail class series coming, a new Spring menu in Early April, and we can't wait for spring to put the tables back out! Another fun fact: You can get married at The Bennett for a thousand bucks! Our wedding package starts a $1,000 dollars for a 2 hour reception: 20 people with wine, beer and food.
What are your go-to spots in the neighborhood (asides The Bennet of course!)?
Khe-yo for a romantic dinner, Ward III for late night drinks (and music), Duane Street Hotel for a staycation, and The Balloon Salloon for fun gifts and party favors. It's also my favorite corner in NYC...instant happiness thanks to the balloons!