Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 09/10/2013
Lobster with peas, radish and mint. Photo: Francesco Tonelli
41 W. 57th St., 212-465-2400, Midtown, Manhattan
The buzz is building about Betony, an elegant bi-level restaurant near Carnegie Hall. Partners Bryce Shuman and Eamon Rockey are both vets of Eleven Madison Park and have brought on a staff that's attentive to details. Some sample soundbites of their hospitality from a recent evening: "Wouldn't you be more comfortable here?"; "We make our own orange oleo-saccharum for the cocktails"; "The potato chips are dehydrated so they're not any less healthy than the crushed zucchini." Chef Shuman and his team are so precise you get the feeling work is done by tweezers, not tongs. Topping the aforementioned potato chips are crème fraîche and a dice of microscopic chives. Bread sticks are nearly as slim as a blade of grass; ultra-thin cheese crackers shatter when bitten. The modern American food is so lovely to look at (gnocchi with corn and purslane, seared brook trout with artichokes and lovage), don't neglect to look up—the ornate carved ceiling, a holdover from when the space was Brasserie Pushkin, is museum-worthy.