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Park West Tavern Hires New Four-Star Executive Chef

New menu items expected later this month from acclaimed chef John Benjamin.

Diners at Park West Tavern can expect some new options on the Ridgewood restaurant’s menu in the coming month.

Recently tapped for its kitchen, acclaimed chef John Benjamin plans to match his creative flair and experience in an array of eateries around the country to Park West’s American fare menu.

Coming from Restaurant Latour at Chrystal Springs resort, Benjamin has also worked at four-star Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry, and helped launch The Lenox Room in New York City.

“I’m just getting used to the kind of clientele we have here,” said Benjamin, who started at Park West last month. “They’re kind of experimental. I hope to create palates in Ridgewood that like my style.”

Veal porterhouse, paella cakes and tuna tartare are among the dishes the new executive chef could be introducing to the Park West menu in late January, he said.

Like any chef changing kitchens, Benjamin has plenty of old recipes he could rehash in his new workplace. The challenge, he said, is meshing them with the comfort food with which Park West patrons are accustomed.

It shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Benjamin. His new surroundings are not totally unfamiliar, having previously spent two years helping to open Park West’s sister restaurant, Park Ridge’s Park Steakhouse.

He'll be working closely with culinary colleague John Halligan on the direction of the restaurant, Benjamin told Bergen food blog Boozy Burbs.

During Benjamin's tenure at Restaurant Latour, NJ Monthly named the eatery one of the state's 25 best, saying he "may be the most under-the-radar, highly accomplished chef in the state."

JAFO January 08, 2014 at 11:41 AM
He looks thrilled

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