On Friday, Lincoln Center's prestigious new restaurant, Lincoln, opens for the swells. This is kind of a big deal because the chef is Jonathan Benno, former chef de cuisine at Per Se, and because it's an enormous, ambitious fine dining restaurant that's opening without the financial backing of a hotel, which is not too common these days. But we just think Lincoln's cool because it's located underneath that new "Illumination Lawn" like a hobbit hole, and it bears the same name as our favorite They Might Be Giants album.

Benno's à la carte menu, prepared in a totally open kitchen, "interprets traditional dishes from across Italy in a modern way," with "market-inspired" options like spaghetti al pomodoro (seen here) and cavatelli con vongole. Small plates "may include" gnocchi di patate alla bava and melanzane alla parmigiana—we just don't know, because the menu is still a closely-guarded secret. What is certain is that you better show up with some money to spend; the average check is estimated to be $120 for dinner (including 2 courses and 1 glass of wine, plus tax and tip). Lunch looks like more of a deal; it's estimated to be in the $55 range, which isn't bad considering Benno's reputation.

Lincoln // 142 West 65th Street // (212) 359-6500