Josef Centeno is doing something slightly different at P.Y.T., something that makes this newest venture relevant in its own right. Where all the food at his Bäco Mercat — meat and meat-free — is aiming for maximum flavor and contrast and excitement, the food at P.Y.T. is more focused on the soul of the vegetable itself, and the best way to frame singular ingredients so that they shine. This ethos makes for food that's presented in a slightly simpler format, and dishes that are built around produce that Centeno obviously chooses carefully, perhaps even obsessively. This was perhaps best evidenced with a dish P.Y.T. served early on, in which Centeno figured out how to get the most turnip-y flavor from a turnip by wrapping it in an hoja santa leaf and baking it for hours in a salt dough crust. He'd bring the whole thing to the table and crack it open in front of you, cut the turnip into pieces, and drizzle it with some shiso-inflected chimichurri.
Credit: Anne Fishbein