Chef Franklin Becker’s The Little Beet Table, which opened on Park Avenue and 25th Street on November 5, is a healthy eater’s wonderland.
The entire menu is gluten-free, most ingredients are organic and locally-sourced, meats are grass-fed, superfoods are everywhere, and there are delicious vegan options like a quinoa “risotto.”
And yet, you won’t find one of those buzzwords on the menu. “I think there are a lot of people out there who have an aversion to anything that’s different, and they’re going to judge a place in a negative way before they even get the chance to try it,” Becker explains. “Why make those that have an issue feel more out of place?”
Browse the Menu
Of course, one thing that’s immediately apparent is the seasonal, market focus, with vegetables dominating nearly every section of the menu. “We make sure we’re concentrating on healthy elements—balancing a dish with protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates—and it’s very, very vegetable focused,” he says.
That includes an over-the-top crudite, which he explains as “like every vegetable at the Union Square Greenmarket,” and small plates like perfectly roasted squash with hazelnuts, honey, and pecorino. (These will change regularly.)
He also focuses on cooking with healthy fats, unsurprising given his recently released cookbook is called Good Fat Cooking, and has a knack for making veggie-focused foods feel hearty. Like with the aforementioned quinoa “risotto,” made with herbs, a mix of seasonal vegetables, and two purees—cauliflower-leek-garlic and mushroom—which make it super creamy. And the bar menu comes with well-balanced cocktails made with spirits like Prairie Organic Vodka, biodynamic wines, and gluten-free beers.
And with elements of “farmhouse-inspired” (yet modern) decor, The Little Beet Table feels like a chic destination. Colorful graffiti-inspired paintings hang on exposed brick and whitewashed walls, which frame a pretty bar furnished in unfinished oak, communal (and individual) wood tables, and re-purposed light fixtures.
When we stopped in for dinner on a cold night, it felt warm and intimate (with perfect service to match), like the perfect spot for date-night or a post-work winter meal with a friend. And hey, you don’t even have to tell your dining partner that the grilled beets are super fresh and nutritious, or that the decadent chocolate chip cookie they finished the meal with was made with gluten-free Cup4Cup flour. Unless, of course, they’re into it. —Lisa Elaine Held
The Little Beet Table, 333 Park Avenue South, between 24th and 25th Sts., Flatiron District, www.thelittlebeettable.com