TbensinksmallVisitors to CHQ can now enjoy a new dining experience with a new chef at the Athenaeum Hotel this summer. The space that’s been known simply as the dining room has transformed into Heirloom Restaurant at the Athenaeum Hotel, with executive chef Travis Bensink.


Heirloom offers an updated look to the historic space. The once wallpapered walls are now painted a warm neutral tone and new window treatments and ceiling fans, reminiscent of the original fans from 1881, create an authentic but fresh look in the dining room. The updated menu, along with its energetic feel and historic atmosphere, define the new restaurant.
Converging trends quickly moved Heirloom Restaurant from the concept stage to reality. For one, there are now more new people on the grounds that are looking for a great and affordable dining experience. Additionally, diners have become much more sophisticated and socially aware about what they eat and drink. Those factors increased demand for an upscale and accessible dining experience on the grounds.
Bensink, the new executive chef, is excited to be back in his hometown area with his family. Originally from Clymer, New York, Bensink most recently worked as executive chef of Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. Previously, he was events chef and lead sous chef at Print Works Bistro at the Proximity Hotel, also in Greensboro.
“I’m glad to be part of the Chautauqua Institution tradition,” Bensink said. “Heirloom is a perfect fit for CHQ. It ties in classic ingredients and blends them with local and regional flair.”
As for the new menu, Bensink said he is most excited about the mustard-glazed pork belly. 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 foccacia toast points.
Another exciting new feature is the tapas menu, which provides guests with a fun experience conducive for relaxed conversation while enjoying small plates and a glass of wine. The tapas menu is available from 4:30 to 6 p.m. daily.
Heirloom will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and lunch will still be a buffet and the tapas and dinner menu features a wide selection. Visit athenaeum-hotel.com for more information and to see a complete menu.