San Francisco, USA
July 01, 2019
Benu came on to the 50 list in 2019, a year after this adventure had started. It was ranked 47th in 2019. It’s was a Michelin 3-star restaurant when we went, it dropped to 2-stars in 2019.
Okay, so this is one of those, "these are my rules on the adventure," and not necessarily Snook's nor Andy's. In particular, Jonathan has, "go to this restaurant that has been on the 50 list since I started this adventure, even if it has fallen off," whereas Andy has, "go to this restaurant that is on the current 50 list in the year it is on the 50 list." I'm of the thought, "if I've been to there and it's on a 50 list, it's in." This likely means I'll finish before both Jonathan and Andy, given Jonathan's helping me in my "every 3-Star restaurant" idea and there is some overlap in those restaurants and the 50 best list.
That said, similar to Saison, Jonathan and I went to Benu before he and Andy hatched this 50 by 50 scheme. He was embracing my "every 3-Star restaurant" idea, and had booked all four Michelin 3-star restaurants in San Francisco for the week we were there. I went to three of the four of them with him, missing out on one that was on the same night as a talk I was giving.
Benu was the first of the three 3-star restaurants we went to together on this trip, making it magical. I recall distinctly the drink pairings was an "alcohol pairing," not a "wine pairing." One of the drinks was a beer that delighted Jonathan.
The dishes included cod, sea urchin, and, not a personal favorite, quail. I recognize that that the "not a perfect experience because of the quail" was a quirk of mine, and didn't reflect poorly on the experience.
I was, unsurprising, immensely grateful for, and more than a little overwhelmed by, how great the experience was.