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BEST of the BEST 2014 | Leisure | Dining: Betony

  • Jill Newman

A year ago, Eamon Rockey and chef Bryce Shuman, both formerly of Eleven Madison Park, took over the space at the gaudy Brasserie Pushkin, stripped it of its gilded furnishings, and opened one of New York City’s most sophisticated new restaurants. Betony (212.465.2400, www.betony​nyc​.com) delivers low-purring luxury—a rarity in Midtown—and service that can be surprisingly warm and lighthearted. The refined American menu begins with a series of small plates, such as pickled, flash-fried fennel with a dipping sauce of yogurt and Aleppo pepper. A lobster roll might follow, made with a touch of crème fraîche and encased in delicate cylinders of thin tuile, or perhaps a slice of warm foie gras enhanced with a button of smoked pork and a crisp kale leaf. The tender short ribs are cooked sous vide for 48 hours, then seared to create the perfect crust and deep smoky flavor. The lively bar, with its long marble countertop, matches the inventiveness of the kitchen, offering such cocktails as a crystal-clear milk punch.