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Betony or La Silhouette?

I have an friend coming in from out of town who wants to eat not too far from the Hudson Hotel. She likes a quiet restaurant, a table, not a banquette, French or New American food and good service. The top level places (Per Se, Le Bernadin, etc...) are out of my financial comfort zone, so I've narrowed it down to Betony and La Silhouette. Have any of you been to either or both and which do you think would work best for my friend? Thanks!

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  1. We had been to La Silhouette a few times but our last time there will be our LAST TIME there, it just wasn't good. We have not gotten into Betony yet (but very much want to), I have heard great things from people who's opinion I trust plus it is helmed by Eleven Madion Park alumni (Manager and Head Chef).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Spiritchaser

      I went to Betony last month, and was somewhat disappointed by both the food and service. I'd hold off going to Betony right now. I expected more from EMP alumni. If you're in the neighborhood, I'd give it a try.

    2. Did you consider Bar Boulud? Its is my go to in the area, whether it is quiet depends weekday evening vs fri at 8pm. They have a $45 pre theater dinner, fyi

      1. Thank you for your helpful responses! Bar Boulud is a bit too frenetic and noisy for my friend, though i had a nice brunch there. I'm actually now thinking of doing lunch at Le Bernardin or JeanGeorges instead. Same amount of money as dinner at the other places and probably better food...would you agree?

        1 Reply
        1. re: larush62

          I think that's right.

          I was at Betony about a month ago (mid June) and was left thoroughly unimpressed.

          Instead of trying to craft its own identity, the chefs and restaurant reeks of trying to be an EMP mini-me. Even the look and feel of the menu is a poor copycat of EMP's.

          As to the food, the more expensive an item, the better chances are that it won't be very good. The potato chips and tuna melt were both quite good, and both were 2 of the cheapest things we ordered. The lobster and short ribs, meanwhile, were not only expensive but tasteless (lobster) and tough (short ribs).

        2. In that same area, how about Marea, or would that be too pricey?

          1. too pricey. Would love to try it someday though!

            1. I have been to both Betony and La Silhouette several times each. Although I have had excellent dining experiences at La Silhouette, I also have had less than stellar dining experiences there. The food can be hit or miss at La Silhouette, the service usually (but not always) very attentive, the drinks menu fairly interesting, but the wine list limited and pricey. In contrast, my experiences at Betony (where I have eaten three times since it opened) have been consistently excellent. Having now tried nearly everything on the menu, I can say that the food manages to be both sophisticated and approachable at the same time. The wine list is thoughtfully curated, and the drinks menu is fun. I can't say enough about the service. I would rank the service on the level of Per Se (friendly and attentive). I would say that La Slhouette is a very good high end restaurant, but Betony is aiming to compete with the top tier of NY restaurants.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Scrambled

                Ranking Betony's service at the same level as Per Se is almost as funny as ranking it on the same level as. EMP!

                1. re: ellenost

                  I am a huge fan of both EMP and Per Se, so I certainly didn't make that comment lightly. While I still believe that Per Se is among the best restaurants at which I have eaten in the world (and the hands down winner in New York), my point is that Betony, at a significantly lower price point, is trying to give that same level of service -- friendly without being intrusive, knowledgeable about the food, treating diners like they are important even when they are just normal people, and usually at hand when you need something (without feeling as if they are hovering).

                  1. re: Scrambled

                    I found the service at Betony when I dined there in early June to be somewhat sub-par (even more disappointing since Eamon was trained at EMP, and certainly knows how to provide excellent service). One of the servers who brought food to the table could not answer a simple question: "what's this?".

                    Betony isn't a bad restaurant, but it's no EMP or Per Se, and to say it's at the same level as Michelin 3 star/NY Times 4 star restaurants is insulting.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I have now tried almost all of the dishes. The highlights for me have included the foie gras bonbons (on the bar snacks menu) -- sweet and crunchy on the outside, but then you get the creamy texture of the foie gras. The crushed zucchini is great, with very thin crackers surrounding it to add texture. The gnocchi appetizer is surprisingly light. Just had the cucumber salad appetizer -- the cucumber is thinly sliced, perfectly seasoned, and then topped with a buttermilk "snow" that makes it incredibly light and refreshing. My husband has had the lobster and the grilled short ribs w/sweetbreads -- even though he is not a big short rib fan and definitely not a sweetbreads fan, he raved about that dish. The new ravioli on the menu is creamy, but with just enough of a hint of lemon to make sure the creaminess is not too cloying.

                    1. re: Scrambled

                      Interesting, we had the lobster and short ribs and found both quite subpar. Enjoyed the potato chips and tuna melt, however.

                2. Thanks for your thoughts. I've decided to do lunch at Jean Georges. Cheaper than dinner at either restaurant and I think the level of service, food and ambiance will be perfect for my friend. I'd still like to try Betony some day, but I don't think it was right for this occasion.