451 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102Neighborhood:
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
FrenchPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.monsieurbenjamin.com/
- Phone: 4154032233
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: M-Su 5:00pm-1:00am
COMING SOON: Brunch: Sa-Su 10:30am-3:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: French
- Executive Chef: Jason Berthold
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
A word from Monsieur Benjamin
Monsieur Benjamin is a modern restaurant and bar in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, inspired by the great Parisian bistro culture and traditions of French cooking.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
- Diners' Choice WinnerLate Night Find
Monsieur Benjamin - Best Restaurants in Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness ›
Monsieur Benjamin reviews from OpenTable diners
248 reviews since May 26, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (179)neighborhood gem (137)hot spot (118)special occasion (92)late-night find (81)notable wine list (53)good for groups (41)romantic (40)vibrant bar scene (35)great for outdoor dining (19)scenic view (5)kid-friendly (4)great for brunch (3)great for lunch (1)Show More
- Pleasant, but unremarkableOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 9/21/2014We ordered the deviled eggs, chicken liver mousse, beignets, marrow, char, lobster pasta and lemon tart. Two glasses of the pinot noir. My favorite dish was the arctic char. Not sure what else to write except that everything was "fine" and generally pleasant, but nothing in particular was especially memorable. In that regard a little bit of a disappointment since I had high expectations given the pedigree of the restaurant. We did appreciate the decor and design, however, I doubt we will return. Service was fine, except the waiter forgot to bring our doggy bag to the table, and despite several attempts to get his attention, seemed to avoid us for quite a while (we were one of 3 remaining parties in the entire establishment).Special Features:
- Very disappointingOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/19/2014The ambiance is very cool! We loved the vibe in the restaurant. The food, however, is very lacking in originality and taste. We love French food but were disapointed. We started with the chicken liver mousse. The mousse is a bit too light and fluffy and doesn't have much substance or flavor. The waffle chips were creative, however, also lacked flavor. We then tried the butter lettuce salad. The salad was one of the better items, but it was a standard salad. For dinner we tried the lobster ragout and the french dip, both tasteless. We finished the evening with the Gateau Mariolaine, but it was a bit dry, even with the sauce. Overall, it was an expensive let down.Special Features:
- New place ot dine pre-performanceMO44VIPDined on 9/19/2014The food and service were spot on. It is great to have some French Bistro food in the Hayes Valley area. Server asked if we were going to a performance and paced the meal accordingly. Loved the food, especially the potato artichoke gratin, the warm beets and the perfectly cooked desert. Lemon tart was wonderful, too. It got a little noisy as we neared 7, so if like a quieter meal, I suggest later in the evening. I would highly recommend Monsieur Benjamin.Special Features:
- A great follow up to Benu!DinerSFVIPDined on 9/18/2014When your main location is Benu, how do you follow it up with another location in the same city? You do just what they have done with Monsieur Benjamin! You take the experience, quality and style and put it in a newly built out spot where good food is needed at a price point that is acceptable and approachable. The duck confit was brilliant in that is was cooked exactly as I would expect it, and there was enough meat to make it a meal. The experience from start to finish was terrific and I can't wait to go back! Well done folks.Special Features:
- Lovely Food in a hip environmentsuenglishVIPDined on 9/16/2014So many choices of great combinations of tastes. I want to return and try more dishes! Relaxed setting to try small plates - although the main courses are delish.Special Features:
- excellent food, attractive venueOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 9/16/2014When we first sat down, I thought the atmosphere was very pleasing but the prices looked a little high, even for SF. However, the food was excellent at this new restaurant and we thought the prices were fine considering the quality of the food and experience. The butter lettuce salad was the best I've had and the gratin was original and addictive. My friend swooned over the arctic char. The wait/host staff were amazingly nice, un-snobby and helpful. Wish we had had time for dessert.!Special Features:
- paris bistro in the hayestotaDined on 9/15/2014great build out of the space, lots of windows, very open feel. timely seating, a bit gob-smacked by the high markup on wines by glass (overall wine list was definitely pricey) but great menu. The shellfish platter's oysters were properly chilled, fresh and briny tasting, and the char was melt in your mouth wonderful. My husband loved the wood roasted veggies, and the sorbets were all much better than their specialty ice cream (gauffre in vanilla?) Its a bit pricier than a neighborhood weekly spot, but will certainly do well in this trendy area of the city. We will be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- chrstiVIPDined on 9/14/2014Each course was fantastic--from the appetizers to desert! Each diner in our group loved everything they were served. And you must save room for desert! the Peach crepe was incredible! Loved the whole experience.Special Features:
- What a find!Lookin4yumDined on 9/12/2014Close walk to the Orpheum where we had tickets. Not sure what a wai would look like without reservations but so glad we made them! Could pass on the beignets but the escargot, lobster pasta & crepe dessert surely made up!Special Features:
- Good Food - Horrible & Loud MusicSFCAVIPDined on 9/11/2014Unless the manager brings down the volume of the music I highly recommend bringing ear plugs. The space has a lot of surfaces that reflect sound. The music was awful, at times like rap music, enough to give one indigestion. If the owner hopes to capture the opera and symphony customers he will have to make some changes. The music sounded like it was recorded from a radio. I call it torture I was so stressed by it I decided to skip dessert and fled to my apartment where I had a nice quiet dessert. The cheese beignets were very interesing. The lobster with spaghetti was served with a brown sauce, the lobster being small bits. I enjoyed it very much - quite different from anything I have had before. This new venue is promising.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very good fancy French bistroNeeters5VIPDined on 9/9/2014We've been trying to get in here since it opened. We got lucky and found a reservation on a Tuesday night. It was still packed with people trying to get a seat. The crowd is a bit LA. If you can ignore that it's a lot of fun. Food was excellent, gods drinks. Prices weren't crazy. All in all a great way to spend an evening. Gets a bit loud but oh well. Will try to go back soon-if we can get a table.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good but not greatRobinWVIPDined on 9/9/2014We had to order a small plate, a bite, 1 hors doeuvre, two mains and a side -- portion size small -- and spent $158 before tip. I had two glasses of wine -- rare for me but they are just 4.5 oz and my BF had a glass of whiskey. I think that is a bit expensive (Chapeau comes to mind, a bargain compared to Monsieur Benjamin). Most of the dishes were good but not great: devilled eggs not as good as Park Taven/Bix; sweetbreads good but not as good as Chapeau, etc.Special Features:
- Great pre-performance diningmarsVIPDined on 9/9/2014The appetizers and small plates are so varied and intriguing that it's difficult to save room for entrees. However, we did save room for the desserts and both the lemon tart and gateau were terrific. The camembert beignets were a bit too salty, but the oeufs mayonaisse were a real winner (it was hard sharing the third piece). The seafood sausage was great, but portion was a bit small. The butter lettuce salad that we chose to go along with was beautiful and a nice complement. Service was attentive, but we can't speak for full restaurant since we had early reservation before 7:30 opera performance. We look forward to a return visit, so we sit at the bar to watch the action in the kitchen.Special Features:
- Food was Fun & DeliciousOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 9/8/2014The food is wonderful, the steak tartare, whipped mousse and mussels really stood out. The atmosphere is beautiful with the a view of the open kitchen and the bar. What a fun space!Special Features:
- No mini me Benu!KellVIPDined on 9/8/2014So disappointing. We had 6 appetizers, only the deviled eggs were great. The shrimp were good, the chicken wings very pink inside, the rest without flavor. The lobster ragu was so bad. I think they use canned lobster bits. Tasted so salty. You could not tell what the small pebble sized so called "lobster"bits were. I couldn't eat it. All 3 of us who ordered this so regretted it, all thought it was canned. The pork rib was really a ham bone, so odd! The french fries were great as were the 2 desserts we had.
- Stick to the entreesDroopy94117VIPDined on 9/7/2014The appetizers were bland. Usually I want to dip my bread in the escargot garlic butter. It's not the case here; there was no garlic flavor at all, only a very green, grassy flavor that could've used some salt to pep it up. The pate was bland as well. You definitely need the dijon mustard on the plate to brighten it up. For those who prefer a spreadable pate, this is not the one for you! This place is over priced and unremarkable. You're better off going down the street to Rich Table.Special Features:
- Great MealmlmlVIPDined on 9/6/2014Everything was fantastic- food was amazing and service was excellent. There doesn't seem to be any great place to wait inside and have a drink if you arrive early or are a walk-in waiting for a table.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Chef Corey Lee does it again!dangd2Dined on 9/5/2014This beautiful new sister restaurant to Benu is a wonderful addition to the Hayes Valley neighborhood. Perfect place for a romantic dinner, especially as it is only a block away from the symphony hall and the opera house. Service was spectacular and very well accommodating, considering my guest has a dairy allergy and we were dining at a French place! Will be coming here again!Special Features:
- Good food but service is not yetKaoruDined on 9/5/2014My husband and I had dinner there. We had a great food. We both love Benu and also french food. I am so glad Mr. Lee opened this restaurant. Food we're very good, restaurant design reflects feeling of Benu even casual atmosphere. But our waitress was slow on the service, we had to wait for our finished plates to be taken out and had to ask other waiter our bill. We were almost be late for our Opera. I hope the service will be improved our next visit.Special Features:
- Memorable BenKaylaMichelleRyanDined on 9/4/2014We were seated right away, the center open kitchen was immaculate and we knew right then tonight will be memorable. We started with two small plates, Camembret beignets and the chicken liver mousse, both were tasty, the mousse was smooth and delightful. Next we bought a bottle of wine then our appetizers to share, mussels and the blue ribbon bone marrow. The mussels were the meatiest I have seen in awhile the broth was tasty and the bone marrows was sublime. For mains, she had the steak and fries and I had the artic char amandine. We both loved our main course. For dessert we had the lemon tart, very simple and not fancy great way to end dinner. Service was on par and they never rushed us on any moment. Her and I left that night :-)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Upscale French BistroPickyforareasonDined on 9/4/2014Enjoyed an excellent dinner. We had reservations and were seated as soon as we arrived. We started with sea urchins presented in a half shells on ice, very fresh and sweet, and frog legs that had been marinated in a delicate sauce prior to dipping in batter and fried - very crunchy and delicious. The duck confit was perfectly prepared, its richness contrasting nicely with bitter greens and grapes, the pork was melt in your mouth perfect. Little gem lettuce grilled was a revelation. For dessert we split a lemon tart - it was very tart, which we liked, with a crispy crust. The wine list was extensive with a good range of price points. Our waiter was very knowledgable and professional. The timing from kitchen to table was good.Special Features:
- Did not stand outjojoDined on 9/4/2014Food was OK but definitely nothing to rave about. The whole experience was nice but nothing to write home about.Special Features:
- Impeccable ServicefatkidsclubproudmemberDined on 9/3/2014We came in 20 minutes early for our 9:30 reservation and the just seat us right away. Our server was fast, efficient and very knowledgable about his job. Food was really good. Tasty, fresh and nice presented. Service was impeccable although it felt like there's way too many people working but I guess they are still new and is not want to risk being shirt on people in case it get to busy. Timing was a little off as our food came out a little late but they made it up by giving us items we didn't order like the patte. It seriously wasn't a big deal at all but it shows that this people care in how people perceive their new business. Overall 5 Food, sanitation and service. 4 star on speed. I can't wait to come back and try their brunch.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great After-Matinee DinnermarilyngVIPDined on 9/3/2014After seeing a matinee performance of Motown the Musical, we headed to Monsieur Benjamin for an early dinner. My husband uses a scooter, and they were very accommodating in letting us park it next to the table. Probably helped that we were so early, but they were very nice. Conroy was our server and did a great job. We started with Manhattans, then had the Dungeness crab and frog legs appetizers. Both were delicious. I had the quail entree and my husband had the lobster ragout. We loved both but liked the quail more - the stuffing was delicious. A delicious crepe dessert ended the dinner perfectly. The food is well executed and the service seamless.Special Features:
- ReggieDined on 9/1/2014Outstanding find! The food was terrific! Our server was great and a great personal touch with a birthday card! We also arrived 30 minutes early and were seating immediately! Outstanding!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Elegant and well thought out foodSuperOKDined on 8/31/2014Second time at this restaurant. Some of the dishes were the same, others swapped out. The killer dish were the pork ribs. So succulent. We also had an excellent Pinot noir.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A bit overratedKozRobertDined on 8/30/2014We arrived on time for our reservation. We were seated 25 minutes late. No one even apologized or had offered us a glass of champagne while we waited. During the wait empty tables with dishes piled up and staff had no urgency to clean and prep while we waited. Food overall was average which is not what we expected being a Corey Lee restaurant. I understand it is no French Laundry or even Benu but would have expected better. Service was mediocre. Ordered a bunch off apps to start and ask that they be coursed out and everything was brought out at once. Took time for wait staff to clear dirty plates. Entrees were much better and more interesting than the appetizers. I cannot believe Corey Lee would have been happy with the overall experience.
- DisappointedDisappointedVIPDined on 8/30/2014After reading reviews about how great the food was, we thought it was pretty mediocre. The pours were very small and some of the cocktails that we saw were downright puny. I doubt we'd go back.
- aubuDined on 8/29/2014The food was unusual, well prepared and excellent. The sweet bread appetizer was a bit dry and heavy but the escargots were excellent. As main we chose lobster ragu and sea bass both excellent choices . The service was excellent, informative attentive and friendly . The restaurant was airy and attractive but the tables close together and the noise level a bit too high for good conversation .Special Features:
- A breath of fresh airEdieGVIPDined on 8/29/2014This restaurant hits the right balance between bistro and bay area creativity. You will find your basic esoteric bistro foods (bone marrow, sweetbreads) as well as comfort food (a wonderful roast chicken). The room is wonderfuly bright and open giving it an airy feeling, even when some of your diningnpartners are close by. The wine list is moderately priced with sime verybgood finds. Namlovely addition to the SF food scene.Special Features:
- Food overhyped, service not greatOpenTable Diner Since 2008VIPDined on 8/28/2014The food didn't justify the price. And during our meal, as our neighbors left, we were asked if we wanted to switch to their table which was in the corner window. We politely declined as we were fine where we were and in the middle of eating a course. 2 minutes later they came back - "actually, we need you to move because we have a four top that's looking to sit down" At over $200 for a light meal, this shouldn't have happened. This added to multiple waitstaff coming by to ask the same questions of us, it just wasn't the date night we had saved for.Special Features:
- Visiting SFMad715Dined on 8/28/2014The food was good! Specially the bone marrow and bacon chutney!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Felt just like PARISEdwardDined on 8/28/2014First time, but not the last visit. Everything was terrific......food , service were terrific.; Loved the menu.....had urchin, sweetbreads and calamari for apps. Main course Duck Confit and Artic Char done to perfection. Sides of Warm beets and Eggplant Cavier were well worth the price, Desserts......Lemon tart and a Gateau Mariolaine Fantastic great evening.Special Features:
- fabulousSanFrannVIPDined on 8/28/2014Had a show to see at the Orpheum so made res @ Mr. Benjamin - walked over to Monsieur Benjamin in Hayes Valley - informed server about start time of show - had the steak tartare and lobster pasta followed by crepe, along with the Ace cocktail - my friend had steamed mussels and roast chicken - all were incredible - portion sizes not massive but this is a good thing people - server was wonderful, cheery, efficient, helpful, timely, and got us out in plenty of time for the show - Tom the manager checked in and said hello and made sure all was well - this will become a regular for meSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, great serviceTomWDined on 8/27/2014This was our first time dining at Monsieur Benjamin and the experience was great! We were VERY late for our reservation, but we were accommodated perfectly. Our server even expedited our meal so we wouldn't miss the show we were attending that night. The food was great and the portion size was good, but I think the portions could be a slightly bigger (for the price). The service was outstanding. Our server was attentive in addition to expediting our order. We sat outside and the ambiance was perfect. There wasn't a lot of noise from traffic and we were able to have great conversation without having to yell at each other. I highly recommend this restaurant and plan on returning!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent!NapaNVIPDined on 8/26/2014We have very few restaurants in our favorites list. This one was added even before completing our meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- French Food on the pricey sidedotesDined on 8/25/2014Very good. We had an amazing waiter who described the dishes perfectly. All of the food is very good and very French. I had to ask what a few things were but the wait staff was very patient and accommodating. A little pricey to go back regularly, but the food is worth the price of admission.Special Features:
- Very French in Hayes ValleydpkooljazzDined on 8/24/2014I recommend the Duck Confit and Sausage w/ turnips, grapes & Sauce au poive for $27. If you like to take in a great roasted duck with a little twist, try this dish. You'll be amazed. We recommended they serve the home made sausages on the little plates as a starter. They can stand on their own and won't disappoint. Try the lemon pie for desert, you'll be amazed to the last bite!Special Features:
- Pure Parisian Pleasure in S.F.opentabler7VIPDined on 8/24/2014This is the most enjoyable new restaurant I've tried. Absolutely fantastic. The place was very busy yet I never felt rushed as can be the case at even very high end places. The appetizers were spot on and you should order several if dining in a group. The lobster pasta was perfect and plentiful. The dessert crepe was huge, cold and delicious. Absolutely lip smacking goodness in the cocktail list. Corey Lee should be very proud of his new venture. Superb.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great new restaurantSteveVIPDined on 8/23/2014Visited Monsieur Benjamin for the first time this weekend and was very happy everything. It's a great addition to the Civic Center area.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.