It’s fitting that our first meal together was served family style. Monday night we, the founding members of Brooklyn Betrothed, gathered to celebrate the launch of our new endeavor. By six o’clock the number of visits to our newly launched website and the response from the wedding industry was absolutely incredible. We had much to toast to! Thank you to Benchmark restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn for hosting our celebratory dinner. It’s not often that we all get to be on the other side of our own professional efforts,  so to be seated at a stunning table in front of our own names on the precious place card and have bottles of wine flowing all night long was a treat for all of us. The restaurant has this amazing outdoor space, private, pretty and perfect for engagement parties, rehearsal dinner and small weddings. Seated under a canopy of burlap at a long table we were fortunate to sample and enjoy a variety of our neighborhood restaurant’s specialities.

We started with Rebecca’s favorite, the seared sea scallops that were served with fresh garbanzo bean ragout, saffron in a roasted garlic sauce. The trio of beef short ribs was fun to sample and the spicy lobster salad had the perfect combination of freshness and heat, and was my personal favorite.

For main courses, this steakhouse did not disappoint. Our table had no shortage of beef. While I am all carnivore I almost never have or order steak in New York City, but these cuts and the preparation of the fliet mignon, ribeye and New York strip may have changed my ways. And for those looking for lighter options, the black trumpet rubbed ahi tuna and roasted acorn squash with quinoa and wild mushrooms were spicy, flavorful and excellent alternatives for fish lovers and vegetarians.

Last but not least, I think we managed to clean most of the dessert plates sufficiently! The group was divided in terms of favorites: we shared strawberry shortcake, bread pudding and a crispy banana split that was served with pineapple confit, candied peanuts and vanilla bean gelato.

Benchmark is the perfect venue for couples looking for a casual dining experience in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere in a truly charming environment.

And if these beautiful photos are not enough to entice you, this Park Slope gem offers half price bottles of wine on Monday nights.