Mettā is the new restaurant from Brooklyn restaurateur Henry Rich. It's on the corner of Adelphi and Willoughby in Fort Greene. The chef is Noberto Piattoni, an Argentine acolyte of the famous fire chef Francis Mallmann. Rich handles the wine.
I've read tons about Mallmann -- but I've never eaten his food. This is as close as I've gotten. I have to say, I thought it would be more . . . elemental. I liked most of it.
Attractive, très Brooklyn room (on an attractive, très Brooklyn corner).
Cocktails are Argentine-derived. I enjoyed whatever it was I started with. But I'm a bit ashamed to say I closed out the night drinking Fernet & Coke after Fernet & Coke. When you're pretending to be in Buenos Aires, pretend to do as the porteños do.
I started, as the now-obligatory snack with my cocktail, with "smashed" roast potatoes slathered with flounder tarmosalata. I liked the potatoes, but the spread did nothing to change my opinion that flounder roe is too bland and chalky to seek out.
I then had the beef-heart carpaccio because, well, I would. It's served shaved (I guess you'd call it) with peppers and leeks. No surprises here: deeply meaty meat, tasting as good as you'd expect it to.
For my main dish, I selected what the bartender commented, when he took my order, was the "most Argentine dish on the menu": beef short rib "steak", with collard greens (just like eating at home) and chimmichurri (ditto) (theirs is better). The same problem comes up whenever meats that call for slow cooking are instead prepared as "steaks": they end up not being nearly tender enough, instead unpleasantly chewy. That was the problem here. You might be known for your cooking over fire -- but some things need a braise.
Dessert was good. I wish I could remember what it was.
I give Henry Rich credit for realizing, on his by-the-glass list, that the best Malbec doesn't come from Argentina.
I liked the vibe of this place a lot, and I liked most of the food. I'm sure I will return, as it's in the 'hood next to my 'hood. I'm not sure I'd recommend an excursion.
COMP DISCLOSURE: An amaro (before my self-inflicted onslaught of Fernet & Cokes)