First Impressions of Betto, the New Williamsburg Spot from ‘inoteca’s Jason Denton

08/04/2011 3:21 PM |


Anyone who has strolled down Rivington Street on a Friday night knows how crazy ‘inoteca can be. The Italian small plates joint is owned by Jason Denton, who also runs ‘ino and Corsino and, as of last week, Betto in Williamsburg. Don’t worry, it’s not as much of a scene as ‘inoteca is; right now it’s fairly quiet, with a calm, breezy vibe thanks to its large, open doors and high ceiling.

The aesthetic should be familiar to anyone who has frequented Denton’s restaurants before, all warm wood accents and wine bottles on display. The idea is, once again, Italian small plates, although with an emphasis sturdy, grilled market toasts instead of the usual crostini. Now, we should give the place a little time to find its footing, but I did like what I tried when I visited earlier this week, especially the insanely tasty grilled plums with burrata, which paired the sweet taste of fruit with the the creamy, savory qualities of burrata (an Italian cheese made with mozzarella and cream) perfectly. Also good was a piece of toast topped with a rich smear of ricotta cheese and bright red beets and a dish composed of cuttlefish crudo lightened gently with a bit of acid.

It’s not exactly cheap but not outrageous either, a good place for a date or a nice dinner out. The 60-seat space features a gorgeous communal marble table in the center, giving the place a fun, social feel. I’d recommend stopping in for a market toast ($5) and a glass of wine at the bar before heading off to nearby cocktail spots like Hotel Delmano or Maison Premiere; you really won’t find a better snack in the neighborhood.

138 N. 8th St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg