You come to the museum for the culture, not for the food. For every stunning exhibit with a Picasso or a Pollock there is a homely cafe out back peddling soups and sandwiches. But not at Untitled, the new restaurant at The Whitney, a place that is so attractive and inviting that you might actually come to the museum for the food and not the other way around. The open, glass-enclosed space gets so much natural light that any sort of vitamin D deficiency or episode of SADS will be remedied right away. You’ll like being here, and the staff, trained in the Danny Meyer school of hospitality, will do their best to make you feel that way. With everyone in such high spirits, there’s no way you can’t do a little day drinking here. And you should, because they make a mean Bloody Mary at the bar.
The menu is American and seasonal, and a little bit out-of-the-box, since this is The Whitney, after all. Vegetables in particular get the royal treatment. Summertime was in full bloom that day, with sugar snap peas, ramps and squash making the cut, but the real star was the maitake mushroom with english peas and freekeh, an earthy and comforting dish that was reminiscent of a light risotto. It doesn’t get any more Americana than biscuits, and every table gets a complimentary box of the restaurant’s cheddar chive ones, which are buttery and gorgeous, and come served with an incredible red pepper jam. Roasted and fried chicken are also popular national dishes, only they are elevated to works of art at Untitled, deep sunset bbq tones and colorful pickled slaw vegetables arranged artfully on a plate that allow us to eat well with our eyes first and our stomachs later. Icing on the cake was literally the peanut butter frosting on the peanut butter and jelly cake with blueberry compote and sesame seed brittle–how could you resist an ingredient lineup like that?–a sweet and lovely way of ending our meal. Food and art, once strange bedfellows, can now go hand in hand.
Untitled at The Whitney
99 Gansevoort St (between 10th Ave and Washington St)
New York, NY 10014