Thursday, January 29, 2015

Good Herb

Introducing Betony, Midtown's best new date spot


Just when you thought the city was running out of places to take your third date that don't involve fried duck tongues or python sausage, a new gem comes along.

It's called Betony, and it takes its name from an obscure herb once used to scare away ghosts and cure drunkenness (not necessarily in that order).

It's the product of two Eleven Madison Park vets (one of whom also did stints at Aska and Atera) who've taken up residence in the two-story space that once housed Brasserie Pushkin.

The menu features a number of high-end takes on low-brow eats, with one-must combos of potato chips with crème fraîche and chives, and the "tuna melt" with Fontina on brioche (or even fried pickles).

And then there are high-end takes on high-end eats: foie gras served hot or cold, grilled short rib with romaine and sweetbreads, or a perfectly pink lobster with peas and radish (pictured).

As with Pushkin, there's not shortage of wine here — over 400 bottles, handpicked by another Eleven Madison Park vet.

Like the cuisine, the cocktails are deceptively simple: The Nostromo (named after the spaceship in Alien, we're hoping) blends slightly sweet bison grass vodka with lemon, celery bitters, and Aperol. The Orange Julep tangles rye, bitters, and house-made orange oleo saccharum, the old-school wonder-ingredient championed by David Wondrich and his cocktail nerd brethren.

And here you were worried that they were serious about that "curing drunkenness" business.

41 W. 57th St. (6th Ave.), Midtown
(212) 465-2400

Price: 3 (out of 4)
Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Subway: F to 57th St.
Scene: Upscale casual
Hot seat: You've got two equally excellent options — the 85-seat dining room or the 35-seat bar and lounge.
Best bets: "Tuna melt"; lobster with peas and Easter egg radish; Orange Julep
Nearby: Whiskey Park; The Plaza; Quality Meats

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