TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
LifestyleRestaurants

Monroe's replaces Benny's Ristorante in Westbury

Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a

Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grate while filming "The Seven Year Itch" New York, Sept. 9, 1954. Credit: AP/Matty Zimmerman

Post Avenue in Westbury has become a microcosm of sorts for the shifting sands of Long Island food. Once an Italian enclave lined with salumerias and pizzerias, a hungry seeker can now find lamb shish kebabs, lengua tacos, ice cream, pernil and dozens of other snacks besides (and still plenty of pizza).

Now Marilyn Monroe is in the vicinity, too, although in sculptural form: A life-size sculpture of the icon decorates the dining room of Monroe's, an all-purpose restaurant that has taken the place of Benny's Ristorante, an Italian-American fine-dining spot that operated for 32 years before closing in 2019.

Monroe's owners were elusive by phone, but the restaurant is linked to Tesoro, also in Westbury, and the liquor license is held by Anthony Vitucci, who also owns Tesoro. The spaciousness of Benny's dining room still seems intact, with the addition of a brick-lined side room for private dinners. The homages to Marilyn Monroe are many — from the bust of the actress' skirt being blown around to prints and photographs.

Menu-wise, Monroe's covers a lot of ground: Appetizers ($12 to $16) include clams casino, crab fritters with Old Bay aioli and "double-fisted" tacos (adobo chicken, short rib and shrimp tempura), Larger plates ($16 to $25) run the gamut from chicken parm, roasted chicken and marinated skirt steak to potato-crusted salmon in a beurre-blanc sauce and tuna poke. A chops menu lists multiple steaks, such as porterhouse for two ($100), and recurring weekly specials run from burgers and beer on Mondays to branzino on Fridays and lasagna Bolognese on Sundays. There is a curved, full bar lined with red leather, and several of the house cocktails are named for the namesake actress or her films, such as Some Like It Hot (a Casamigos tequila-driven spin on a margarita, topped with Grand Marnier).

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily, with brunch also served on weekends.

Monroe's, 199 Post Ave., Westbury. 516-416-4181. monroeswestbury.com

Latest reviews