TOKYO BLUEBERRY: Pinnacle Blueberry Vodka mixed with fresh blueberries, lemon juice and ginger beer. SPARKLING PINEAPPLE SAKETINI: Croc Pineapple Vodka, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur shaken with crushed pineapple, then topped off with MIO Sparkling Sake.
Not available in Beverly Hills, Edison, Harrisburg, Hawaii, Key West, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Milwaukee, Monterey, Seattle and some international locations.
Locations throughout the United States, Latin America and Caribbean.
Your Benihana:Change Your Location
This flair for doing something different caught the eye of his son, Hiroaki. As did the shop's name: Benihana. After college, Hiroaki (or Rocky, as he would become known) moved to the U.S. to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant. One that combined his father's flair for doing something different with food that was truly memorable. But with little money to his name, Rocky's path was not an easy one.
He started by selling ice cream on the streets of Harlem while studying restaurant management at night. The ice cream business turned out to be very profitable, thanks in part to the colorful Japanese cocktail umbrellas he added to the treats, and he managed to save up $10,000 for his restaurant.
With his seed money in place, Rocky took out a loan and used it to start America's first teppanyaki restaurant on West 56th street. Named after his parents' Tokyo coffee shop, Benihana opened in 1964, featuring an authentic Japanese farmhouse interior and food prepared on steel grills right in front of customers. His highly trained chefs delighted customers with intricate knife work and theatrics. Not to mention delicious food. But it wasn't until legendary food critic Clementine Paddleford gave Benihana a rave review that the restaurant really took off, paying for itself in just six months.
Soon after, Rocky opened a second location in New York and one in Chicago. And by 1972, there were six Benihana locations across the country, with more opening every day. Sadly, Rocky Aoki died in 2008 at the age of 69. But, his legacy lives on with more than 70 Benihana restaurants in the U.S. and across the world, and more than 100 million meals served.