CHAUTAUQUA - The Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua Institution recently announced the opening of Heirloom Restaurant, led by Travis Bensink, executive chef.
With a renewed emphasis on affordability and speed of service, the hotel's dining room space has been transformed into a full-service restaurant. A new, more affordable menu presents appetizers, entrees, salads, desserts and daily specials, while maintaining the same quality of food and farm-to-table influences.
Community members are invited to try Heirloom and will receive 30 percent off their meal at a soft opening from 4:30-9:30 p.m. Friday. Reservations are recommended, as seating is limited.
A soft opening of the Heirloom Restaurant will be held Friday.
Bensink, originally from Clymer, is excited to be back in his hometown with his family and to host the soft openings for the community.
"I'm glad to be part of the Chautauqua Institution tradition," he said. "Heirloom is a perfect fit for Chautauqua. It ties in classic ingredients and blends them with local and regional flair."
Bensink said the new dish he is most excited about is the mustard-glazed pork belly on Heirloom's new tapas menu, available from 4:30-6 p.m. daily during the summer.
"The tapas menu provides guests with a fun experience conducive for relaxed conversation while enjoying lighter fare with a glass of wine," Bensink said.
The pork belly is cured for seven days, smoked and then braised before being finished with a sweet grain mustard glaze. It is accompanied with pickled red onion, house-made cherry-fig preserves and crisp focaccia toast points.
Area residents who dine at Heirloom during the Chautauqua season, June 21 to Aug. 24, will receive a complimentary dining pass that allows free access to the grounds, available at the ticket windows at the Main Gate Welcome Center. A separate pass must be purchased to enjoy evening Amphitheater entertainment.
Parking is available in the Main Parking Lot across from the Institution grounds with tram service to the Main Gate Welcome Center and then to the hotel. Valet parking is available from the hotel as well.
Heirloom Restaurant is located at the historic Athenaeum Hotel on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution. It is open to the public seven days a week throughout Chautauqua's summer season. Call 357-4444 for more information or to make a reservation for this summer. See the full menu at athenaeum-hotel.com.