Untitled (Google Maps) sits on the ground floor of the new Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art, a glass temple to vegetable-driven cooking that’s increasingly caught on in New York. All that smack dab in the middle of the human crush of glorified day drinking, family outings, and tourist throngs curious about the High Line that is the Meatpacking District. Food aside, it’s simply a gorgeous place to take it all in.
Space in New York, in almost any capacity, feels like an extreme luxury, so to see Untitled’s soaring ceilings and uninhibited glass enclosure is like walking into the foyer of an unexpectedly wealthy friend and thinking daaaaaaayum. Good on ya, Danny Meyer.
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern’s head impresario, oversees the kitchen. Union Square Hospitality Group is behind the venture, as well as the upstairs cafe.
The food is meant to share, portions relatively small, the plating bordering on minimalist, the flavors a dance of sharp and broad and muted. There’s spice but only barely (the chili in the leeks), there’s an earthy chlorophyllic sweetness on full blast (the kale & sugar snap peas in the fried & roast chicken salad), there’s rich crab umami in the crispy croquettes, smeared with aioli.
The lobster toast distills the abundance of a buttery, celery-infused roll into a few small bites. I’m a man of indulgence, so I’m not crazy about the fact when lobster rolls are tiny (see: Son of a Gun), but I guess I can live with that because they are fucking delicious. The flatbread – meh.
We rounded out the meal with peanut butter crunch cake, with a drizzle of berry compote. Beautiful to look at, and mad tasty, surprisingly airy. I don’t quibble about these things, but I wonder if there isn’t something heavier to ground the meal after all that healthy eating. Maybe some banana pudding, like Wayne Thiebaud’s painting hanging just a few floors up.