The restaurant’s well known as a great place for business dinners—for those who can afford it– and the White Plains location can only improve its business. Said one Wall Street financier, “We eat good meals there. They never disappoint.”
Prelvukaj brought in an expert to redesign the site of Benjamin II, architect Emilio Escaladas. “We wanted to create a sense of scale in a large space, that still creates intimacy,” said Escaladas. “It better distinguishes and celebrates the entrance at the large exterior.”
I asked what inspired Escaladas to take on the job. His reply?
“I just work for money. They could be building this place to sell crocodiles. I don’t give a shit!” He laughed, and went on. “They’re young, they’re ambitious, and it’s fun to work with people that know what they want, and what works for them!”
Formerly a Mighty Joe Young’s, connoisseurs agreed that it was a decided improvement. “It’s brighter in here,” says Jeannine Johansen: “It was a lot darker when it was a Mighty Joe Young’s. And we need another steakhouse.”
This was disputed by another local, who pointed out that Benjamin II is only one highway exit away from a Morton’s, and another exit’s distance from a Ruth Chris. Regardless, Prelvukaj has firmly cut out his own territory.
The White Plains location can be found at 610 W. Hartsdale Avenue. The restaurant’s open every day (except Mondays) at 4 pm. More information can be found here.