Two alums of ultimate fancy pants restaurant Eleven Madison Park recently opened Betony on West 57th Street. And although the place is new, in true EMP style, the service is exceptionally friendly and well-drilled.
Betony offers some unusually savory desserts like roasted apricot with almond and watercress, but also more conventional sweets. Of them, Coconut Pate a Bombe, White Chocolate and Aged Rum ($12) may be the most unusual.
The heart of this light dessert is a frozen hemisphere of coconut sorbet. Sealed inside is a small pocket of aged rum and caramel sauce. If you like rum (as I do) you will enjoy how this sweet shot contrasts with the subtle, almost neutral, coconut sorbet. The accompanying quenelle of white chocolate ice cream also has a pleasant understated flavor without any of the cloying sweetness that characterizes some white chocolate—even in ice cream form.
The pattern of these three smooth textures is broken with a combination of two satisfying crunchy components: toasted coconut made with sea salt and a dehydrated whole milk tuile.
It's a great fine dining dessert full of tricks, like pockets full of rum, without any heaviness. You might even consider ordering another dessert if only to see the other tricks up this pastry chef's sleave.