Whitney Museum, 75th & Madison, Upper East Side
The Modern has the The Modern, The Guggenheim has The Wright, and now The Whitney has Untitled. While the first two seem to be formal and staid (although I haven’t been), Danny Meyer’s new place, elevates the museum cafe to his impeccable standards, but still remains a cafe. You can sit at the counter and order a doughnut and coffee or an egg sandwich. Now this review is a few weeks old, and I visited during the soft opening, with only a partial menu, and a host that clearly had no clue. But only the food mattered, of course, and what I had was so simple, yet so delicious.
Since the Whitney celebrates American art, I chose to celebrate a day off with two American classics: a BLT and cherry pie. They were both extremely satisfying. I usually dismiss the limp bacon, lettuce and tomato, but this one had perfectly crispy bacon, not overly smoked, and the bread was soft white, with perfect proportions. But it took me a few bites to decipher why this simple BLT tasted incredible, it was the tomatoes! They were perfectly ripe and sweet and possibly marinated, but they were just beyond a tomato.
And the pie was from a local source, as is nearly everything at Untitled. Four & Twenty Blackbirds, from Brooklyn, is known for their amazing pies, and this one was just that. The crust was rich and flaky, the cherries sweet and plump. It was damn good. Good enough that I’m going to trek out to the Brooklyn shop real soon.
Like everything Danny Meyer touches, Untitled is exceptional. Now that dinner is being served, I will have to return. This will definitely be a destination on the Upper East Side, with the museum almost an afterthought – and it’s a really good museum.