Located in the Amway Grand Hotel, Bentham’s is an older restaurant on the river’s edge. It’s long and narrow, three rows wide and about ten tables long. There are two menus, breakfast and lunch/dinner. It’s a classy, casual setting, complete with cloth napkins and live flowers. There is no outdoor seating but you can sit at a window table and see the river and people walking by on the river walk.
Service was quite prompt and attentive, in the beginning. The appetizers contained nothing out of the ordinary except for the pan seared seafood cakes, served with mango chutney and basil chive oil. Beautifully presented, the mango chutney combined wonderfully with the seafood and basil.
Our first main dish was the 16-hour smoked barbecue beef brisket, served open faced on a kaiser roll with pepper jack cheese and red onion. The beef was very tender and essentially required no chewing. The sauce was adequate but didn’t really stand out. Thankfully the brisket was good enough to offset this, creating an average sandwich.
The second dish was beef tenderloin tips: sauteed with wild mushrooms in red wine sauce, tobacco onions, and whipped potatoes. Potatoes, mushrooms, and beef were good overall but a tad salty. And three pieces of beef had to be discarded due to gristle. There is no way to remove meat from one’s mouth gracefully or surreptitiously. This was a major fail on the kitchen’s part.
The service fell completely apart toward the end of our meal and it took forever to get our check. Menus are online and there are small wine and beer lists. It might be worthy of a breakfast visit as that menu is a little more extensive. It’s a nice setting but a little pricey and more than likely designed to service hotel guests. With all the other downtown options, this is not a recommendation.