Chef Corey Lee worked for Thomas Keller for many years before striking out on his own. At Benu, Lee applies the French Laundry–style precision and restraint he internalized as chef de cuisine there to ingredients and dishes that reflect not only his Asian heritage but also his own particular obsessions. The $180, 18-course tasting menu at Benu has moments of real beauty. A bowl of wild-salmon roe with puffed buckwheat conjures taste memories of cold soba. There is Lee’s take on a xiao long bao, flavored with lobster meat and coral, lobster consommé, and tarragon.
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