The romance of lingering at the museum past closing has been a naughty dream for art lovers young and old since long before runaway kids took up residence inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
Thankfully, now that we’re all grown up, there’s no criminality involved to stay late at the The Whitney. When the exhibit doors close in the evenings, the illuminated glass-walled dining room of Danny Meyer and Mike Anthony’s Untitled beckons.
Just be sure to check any art school pretension—and Meatpacking District expectations—with your coat. Untitled is all about bright food, warm, convivial service and an atmosphere that’s a scene without being scene-y. That it’s relatively easy to snag a Friday night Eero Saarinen-seat at the restaurant is perhaps the biggest surprise of all.
In other words: bring someone you really like. This is a special night.
What to Wear
The Future Islands-soundtrack, soft light from low-hanging fixtures like half-moons and a more-the-merrier vibe call for arty-cool Maria Cornejo, your best Ingrid Sischy-statement spectacles and a smile.
Where to Sit
Here’s how to heighten the already-performative aspect of date night. Perch on Bertoia stools, newly arranged counterside—an old-fashioned-inspired Westside Cowboy in your hand—and behold the open kitchen-show directed by executive chef and managing director Michael Anthony (who is also executive chef at Gramercy Tavern), and chef de cuisine Suzanne Cupps. Admire, too, the handsome red-accented aprons from Hedley & Bennett.
What to Order
Nothing says date night like beef tartare, and this one is not to be missed. With a pumpkin seed salsa, fresno chiles, and Sorano beans, reportedly the bean Marcella Hazan missed most from Italy, it’s a spirited interpretation of the dish.
Vegetables play some of the flashiest parts on the plate at Untitled, with carrots blanketed by a confetti of sesame and black garlic, deeply jeweled kabocha squash with chorizo and, on a salad of quinoa and spicy winter greens, rosy radishes, translucent as pointillist stain glass. Sunchokes arrive showered with crisp, pink pancetta—the tuber dish of your dreams—nearly in danger of upstaging the duo of chicken, roasted and fried, and served with creamy kale.
Even a well-versed wine lover can get tripped up by an overwhelming wine list. Put yourself in the hands of the sommeliers at Untitled, who, with characteristic warmth, will so enthusiastically talk about texture, aroma, and region that a dining companion may mishear the description of the rotating Untitled glass. “It will change my life?” Perhaps, comes the answer, but the glass of “something different” changes a lot.
We Did Something Uncool So You Don’t Have To
When the first dish arrives at your table, you may mistake the asymmetrical ringed edge for a some kind of edible flourish, perhaps a dark dusting of ancho chile. You may want to swipe your pinkie through for a taste. Rest assured, that’s just the glaze work of Shanghai-based Spin Ceramics, who has a shop down the street in SoHo.
A Sweet Ending
People go nuts for pastry chef Miro Uskokovic’s 12-layer banana-buttermilk cake, a beauty filled with concord grape and banana jam, then frosted with chocolate hazelnut buttercream and ringed with tiles of hazelnut tuile.
Or escape to the High Line for a stolen kiss, now likely inspired to levels of great art.