A few weeks ago Rocky and I were out in Bushwick eating some bad ass pizza on our big day off together when we ran into our friend Eamon Rockey(no relation to my Rocky, don’t be confused). We chatted a bit and I asked how his new gig was going and made a promise to pay him a visit sometime soon. So a trip to Betony, Eamon’s new project with Chef Bryce Shuman, got put on my NYC shortlist.
Last Sunday while
pounding sipping bourbon cocktails on the EMP patio during USHG’s Big Apple BBQ Block Party, Rocky and I ran into Rockey again. Though a lot of the details for the day ended up fairly fuzzy for me, I’m moderately sure I promised I would dine the next day at Betony. Either way, I made good on my possible promise. And I’m delighted I did. Our dinner was superb.
Rocky and I met at the bar when she got off work and we started with a couple drinks and some bar snacks.
After chatting with some of the staff, and drying off from the pouring rain, we made our way to our corner table in the dining room. We were told the menu is intended in three sections: snacks, appetizers, and main courses. We picked out a few of each and got the party started.
Potato Chips, Creme Fraiche, Chive. Delicate potato crisps, with some nice allium flavor, cooled out by the tangy creme fraiche. Like refined sour cream and onion chips.
Crushed Zucchini, Mint, Gruyere. Fork-smashed zucchini, sandwiched between gruyere chips. Livened up by a bit of mint.
Marinated Trout Roe, Puffed Rice, Cucumber. Rice crackers topped with trout roe, fennel, and cucumber. An exciting combination of flavors. Nice texture contrasts between the light cracker, the pop of the roe, and the crisp vegetable.
“Tuna Melt”, Fontina, Brioche. Open-faced melts built on small round brioche slices with mayo, bigeye tuna, fontina, tomato, and sorrel. These tasty little snacks made Rocky want to start making tuna melts for lunch.
Tomato Snow. With gooseberry compote, olive oil, and tarragon tips. A fun few bites. Super light, but packed with restrained flavor. Clean, savory, tart, and fresh.
Gnocchi, Corn, Sea Cress. As I’ve said before, I’m a corn fanatic. And being that my mother grew up on a pig and corn farm in central Nebraska, I have an instilled sense of corn snobbery. I loved this dish. Soft, lightly starchy gnocchi served with baby corn and freeze dried corn kernels in a superb sweet corn pudding that had a light touch of heat. Amazing. I hope to have it again soon.
Grain Salad, Labne, Sprouts. A variety of grains prepared in a fun variety of textures, set in strained yogurt and topped with sprouts.
Chicken Liver, Apple, Celery, Caraway. This liver was effing bad ass. Rich and smooth. I was a big fan of it on its own, though it was accented really nicely with the sweet, tart, earthy, tangy accompaniments.
Brook Trout, Artichokes, Lovage. Big thanks to Rocky for the sweet photo above, and for having this to say about the fish:
‘The mild trout served skin on took me back to long days fly fishing along the Current River in southern Missouri. However, enjoying the trout without fish guts under my nails or river gunk in my undies allowed for a much more elegant experience. Also, the brook trout of the Northeast doesn’t have the skunky flavor of the rainbow trout I grew up on. The lean fish was complemented by buttery artichoke leaves with crispy artichoke heart chips adding texture. A ballin outta control broth topped the dish, making it a plate worth licking. Yummy fish, fun accompaniments, and awesome broth left me satisfied and excited for dessert.’
Lobster, Peas, Easter Egg Radish. Damn. This lobster was awesome. With sugar snap peas and English peas, a little mint, and some delicious sabayon. A flawless plate of food. Better executed and three times the size of the lobster and pea dish I had on the fourth floor crosstown a few weeks ago.
Goat Milk Ice Cream. A couple quenelles of tangy ice cream served over crunchy toasted buckwheat and drizzled with honey. A pleasant pre-dessert.
Blueberry, Poppyseed, Osmanthus. The ice cream, flavored with osmanthus tea, was fantastic, especially paired with the sweet berry.
Apricot, Almond, Watercress. The sweet, mildly tart apricot matched up well with the almond ice cream.
Coconut, White Chocolate, Aged Rum. My favorite of the desserts. I’m not sure what to call the white chocolate part(maybe a semifreddo?), but it was filled with rum, which made magic happen when it spilled out and combined with the ice cream and toasted almonds.
Dark Chocolate, Cardamom, Coffee. Another dynamic range of tastes and textures. Light, airy foam. Dense, decadent chocolate. And a base of crunchy granola.
Frozen Chocolate Stout Macaron. Pink Peppercorn Caramel Chew. Dried Cherry & Pistachio Divinity. A few more little bites to finish up an extraordinary dinner.
Some wines we were served, paired up by sommelier Luke Wohlers and my buddy Big Will(service director):
Date of visit: June 11, 2013
Betony. 41 West 57th Street, NYC 212.465.2400 www.betony-nyc.com