Untitled at the Whitney


Whitney Museum
99 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10014
Contact | 212.570.3670

Untitled - Chicken Salad

Untitled works have always felt a little stiff to me, not that I’m an authority on art. But Danny Meyer’s Untitled restaurant on the ground floor of the Whitney museum seems a bit that way, especially when compared to his other cozily refined projects like Union Square Cafe and The Modern.

I guess sticking to the art reference, Untitled seems like, say, a Rothko to his many Monets. Both are substantive in their own rights, but they accomplish it in very different ways.

Untitled - FondueThe most obvious deviation from the warmth exemplified at his USC and Maialino is Untitled’s colder, sunlit setting, encased in floor to ceiling glass. While it felt a little out of character, anyone not knowing it’s a Meyer establishment would likely appreciate how the restaurant is obviously made to fit the contemporary art museum that houses it — even the foods and the ways they’re represented are fillled with contrasting lines and colors.

So all this is to say that there’s a certain type of beauty in Untitled, even though it’s not quite up to Meyer standards. Take the fondue starter. The cheeses are in-your-face rich — the type of dish where the first bite is delicious and powerful but late one becomes a bit of a struggle.

No complaints about the chicken salad though. It’s a very unsalad salad because that fried chicken is really well prepared and steals the shows. The pretty greens are lightly dressed, and you’ll uncover a delightful scoop of…chicken salad…at the bottom that really ups the dish another notch.

So that’s a total gem at Untitled, and I’m sure there are some more peppered around its lunch menu. The key probably isn’t to go in expecting a typical Meyer experience, but more so an extension of an art museum where there will naturally be some pieces that astound and some that confuse.

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