This week, Jonathan Gold heads to P.Y.T., chef Josef Centeno’s newest downtown restaurant that took over nearly half of another Centeno spot, Ledlow. Falling in line with a trend that swept much of 2015 and 2016, P.Y.T. is vegetable-centric, a place "where the persimmon salads and braised leeks are the stars and the one pork rib dish is cordoned off at the bottom of the menu like the token steamed-vegetable plate used to be at most mainstream places."
Much of the review muses on a turnip that is "wrapped in a big, anisey hoja santa leaf, encased in a salt-dough crust, and also baked for hours, until the turnip flavors condense into an essence that hits your tongue like syrup:"
Finally, Centeno cracks open the salt crust of the turnip at the table. He pries off the shards, carefully extricates the vegetable from its fragrant shroud, and cuts the pristine white herb neatly into quarters before he spoons over a bit of bright-green chimichurri sauce in which the chopped parsley is supplemented by the Japanese herb shiso. The first few bites are unmemorable – it’s a turnip! – but at the very center there is a bite or two in which the shiso, the licoricey hoja santo and the vegetable sing in reedy harmony, and you realize why he has taken so much trouble with this dish.
You’re not here for authentic-ish versions of things you’ve tasted before, you’re here to taste the produce of the season transformed. [LAT]
The Goldster also recommends the romanesco with gooseberries and soft cheese, butterball potatoes with mushroom cream, hand-torn pasta with shishito cream, and rice pudding with gianduja mousse.
In the end, P.Y.T. "may as well stand for Pretty Young Turnip."