Village Voice 05.10.2017 : Page 11
brine-soaked green cabbage set over pi-quant preserved butternut squash purée and crowned with curls of broccoli rabe flowers — the whole dish set off by the fireworks of fruity dried habanero. Meaty beets with crimson, earthy-sweet interi-ors are plunged skin-side-up into cooling crème fraîche and topped with chewy rye berries. More delicate but no less punchy is gingerly singed beef heart, still rare on the inside, which mingles with mellow cooked-down cubanelle peppers and leeks for a courageous carpaccio. There’s little of the gamy flavor you might fear, only a mild and grassy beefiness. Piattoni’s time at San Francisco’s Bar Tartine, after Garzon and preceded by a brief stint in Kentucky, “changed my whole mind,” he says, and would become his “biggest influence and inspiration.” There he fell for sourdough bread, sus-tainability, and techniques like fermenta-tion and dehydration. So Mettā, which takes its name from the Buddhist concept of spreading benevolence, composts its food trash and aims to operate with a neutral carbon footprint. Even if you might roll your jaded New Yorker’s eyes at such honorable intentions, the chef ’s penchant for preservation proves itself Wood-fired wizardry with South American flair is on the plate. Soured carrots provide a on the menu at Mettā in Fort Greene necessarily pungent backbone to crunchy strands of braised-then-roasted Elysian BY ZACHARY FELDMAN | PHOTOGRAPH BY ERIC MEDSKER Fields lamb neck crisped in its own fat, which sits in a purée of the tangy root veg-etables and glistens under a scattering of spent four years running Garzon, famed e need to talk about dessert at Argentine chef Francis Mallmann’s asado sunflower seeds. Pale-pink slivers of Mettā. Specifically, one dessert: a porgy crudo — which Piattoni also chars barbecue restaurant in Uruguay. There, sweet potato. Only it won’t much the farmer’s son from Federación, Argen-for a main course next to turnips and net-look like a sweet potato when it tles — hog the plate in an abstract pattern tina, learned to harness fire after years of lands on your table, having just that calls to mind a school of fish. The simply enjoying its mouthwatering ef-been plucked from the embers by chef pristine cuts pop with red South Ameri-and co-owner Norberto “Negro” Piattoni. fects. That much is plainly evident by can ají dulce peppers and bracing ramps the custom-built hearth he’s installed Sliced but still holding its shape, the result that have been pickled then charred. opposite Mettā’s lovely, plant-festooned is pitch black speckled with auburn, not Meanwhile, tender hunks of roasted-entranceway, beyond the snug dining unlike a lump of glowing coal. Bringing then-seared pork shoulder steak ($24) room’s natural wood furniture, tapered your spoon down upon the shell you ex-& BEER 14th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 200 BOWLING North 14th St., Brooklyn, NY wear disks of celery root like wide-200 North ceramic hanging lamps, marble table-pect the crackly thud of crème brûlée. In-718-387-3585 ★ thegutterbrooklyn.com 718-387-3585 ★ thegutterbrookly 200 North 14th St., Brooklyn, 200 North NY 1 brimmed Kentucky Derby hats, all 14th 200 stead, the barely-there crust disintegrates, tops, and eight-seat chef ’s counter. The North 14th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 200 North St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-387-3585 ★ thegutterbrooklyn.com surrounded by a sauce made 718-387-3585 ★ thegutterbrookly 718-387-35 oven’s most mesmerizing giving way to sunset-orange insides as 718-387-3585 ★ thegutterbrooklyn.com with cherry lees, a brewing feature is a rugged metal creamily sweet as custard. In every sense, Mettā byproduct from Brooklyn’s basket, which holds burn-it’s a vegetable transformed. 197 Adelphi Street, Enlightenment Wines. ing wood as hanging cuts of Rather than gilding the specimen Brooklyn Cheery servers navigate meat slow-roast around it. with elaborate garnishes, Piattoni lays it 718-233-9134, a cramped space that gets This lets coals drop to the next to a fluffy dollop of whipped cream mettabk.com loud enough to drown out bottom (thanks, gravity!) of flavored with elecampane, a type of sun-the restaurant’s high-energy the fire pit, where their heat flower also known as elfdock. The plant’s soundtrack when tables fill up (a state it fuels both a griddle and a slotted grill. roots have slightly bitter and intensely flo-seems they’re in perpetually), though the The sensible setup often yields aston-ral notes, which lends a taste similar to the natural European wines picked by co-ishing outcomes, whether it’s slices of Choward’s violet hard candies my grand-owner Henry Rich, many of which cost un-slightly warmed lamb leg layered into let-father often carried on him — as if an der $60, do a fine job assuaging any waits tuce cups with pickles and chiles or the old-fashioned milk truck collided with a you may endure. Same goes for Piattoni’s carrots the 37-year-old Piattoni smokes bouquet display case. Together, the dish desserts ($8), which err on the savory side and pairs with creamy farmer cheese and evokes a bizarro version of the marshmal-A NEW ROMANTIC with vegetables like parsnip — roasted and a thick, vibrant green sauce made from low-topped yams so popular around the MUSICAL COMEDY turned into a cake and paired with ice chard, dandelion greens, lemon zest, and holidays: a comforting, familiar flavor that cream infused with lovage, an herb that roasted garlic. Prices are kept reasonable also manages to startle your palate with FOR THE FOODIE tastes like celery. He grills dehydrated for the neighborhood, with snacks like tugs of herbal sweetness and earthen char. IN YOU apple slices to drape over unsweetened, ramp mignonette–splashed oysters start-Vegetables in desserts is nothing new. citrusy sorrel frozen yogurt and cloaks ing at $6 and the heftiest entrée — bone-This, however, feels anything but old hat. dark chocolate custard in frozen butter-in slabs of short rib steak with sharp With wood-fired cooking trending milk. Still, it’s that stunning sweet potato greens (collards, the night I tried them) hard, it seems like every chef with access that best showcases the capabilities of this and a righteous chimichurri — fetching to kindling has taken to setting things impressive kitchen and also represents $28. At this picturesque Brooklyn inter-ablaze with Promethean vigor, ecstati-one of its clearest triumphs: a simple, section, which Mettā’s windowed façade cally blackening every ingredient they THE YORK THEATRE COMPANY | AT SAINT PETER’S strong finish that smolders in the memory frames just so, it’s all too easy to swoon can get their hands on. Few do so with YORKTHEATRE.ORG | (212) 935-5820 | #MARRYHARRY like the fire that created it. over the nuances of a $13 plate of charred such sprightly finesse as Piattoni, who A lamb shank and pork belly hanging in Mettā’s custom-built hearth 13 May 10 -May 16, 2017 VILLAGE VOICE.com THE FIRE INSIDE EATS W BOWLING & BEER BOWLING & BEER BOWLING & BEER BOW BOWLING & BEER EAT. DRINK. FALL IN LOVE... NOW THRU MAY 21 ONLY!