05. June 2013 American, Midtown 0

41 West 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
$120 each for 2 people, with drinks, with tip
♥ ♥ ♥

The disclaimer here is that I know someone in the kitchen at Betony. I met Josh in 2008 when I went to the Spotted Pig for Fergus Henderson’s visit from the UK. Josh came all the way by bus from Delaware just to eat the chef’s food and we immediately got along and shared our plates. Since then, he’s worked in several other restaurants and we’ve shared more than just pig’s face to eat. It was a given that I would support him at his latest gig even if Betony was not started by his old friends from Eleven Madison Park.

Betony brings the food experience back to basics, or at least it makes you feel like you’re eating very simple dishes. Josh’s marinated trout roe with cucumber looks just like that: trout roe served on a rice cracker, but I found out later that the puffed rice was made from scratch, the roe was marinated in dashi and the cucumber was a bavarois using the cucumber juice that was turned into a fluid gel.

The shellfish ragout is one of their best dishes. The lobster with the season’s peas was decadent, and the cured pink snapper subtle and clean.

Eleven Madison Park won all those awards not because of how fancy their food was but because of how simple they made everything look. It’s the quiet simplicity that will make Betony successful; New York City diners will just have to make room for more excellence.