Jason Denton's Foray into the Boroughs


Meeting a friend at Betto, I was concerned that the relatively new restaurant would be swarmed, but either Williamsburg has been oversaturated with new dining options or people just aren’t in a snacky mood. Because that’s what it’s best for — a table full of small plates to go along with an Italianesque fancy cocktail or glass of Italian wine. Each night, there are also two options for a family style share which are a pretty great bargain. (On the night I was there, a whole fish for two came with three sides for $28 total.)

As to be expected, Betto has got an Italian bent, like restaurateur Jason Denton’s five Manhattan restaurants, but minus the hearty pasta dishes of Corsino or the amazing paninis of ‘inoteca, which should definitely be added to the Betto menu for further snacking options. The fact that the restaurant serves until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends and Thursdays makes it a good place to do what Italians love to do: Stay up late eating a bunch of food.

The dishes are pretty small and reasonably priced in most cases (hiked in others), but each plate was nearly licked clean. In a couple cases, like the grilled plums and burrata and the papardelle with a broccoli rabe pesto, a special that night, we were wishing that we had ordered our own portions of rather than be forced to share. The big, airy, woody space feels fresh and clean, but without that many diners to fill it up, the openness had a chill. And I guess I’m at that age where I liked (and knew by heart) the hip hop classics they were playing but wished they had turned them down a bit. Definitely order the market toasts, squash fritters, and plums with burrata; maybe skip the slimy textured potted chicken.