The just-opened Mettā is cooking up some friendly competition for Colonia Verde in Fort Greene. Also a wood-fired Latin spot, Mettā is helmed by Norberto Piattoni, who is plumbing his native Argentina for flavor, as well as a range of “asado” (barbecue) techniques. Armed with a blistering parilla (grill), plancha (griddle) and vertical fire basket, as well as a timber-stoked oven and stovetop, he’s flexing muscles that were further honed at Francis Mallmann’s Restaurant Garzon in Uruguay as he manipulates sustainable off-cuts with flame, embers, smoke and offset heat.
Still (as at Colonia Verde), Mettā is far from a meat-centric churrascaria—since Piattoni’s also honoring his tenure at San Francisco’s Bar Tartine. Which means that seasonal vegetables are often at the forefront: think coal-charred flatbread with bean spread, beef heart carpaccio over leeks and cubanelle peppers, seared bluefish paired with kale and kohlrabi, and ash-roasted sweet potato with elecampane-infused whipped cream.
The establishments are also aesthetic equals. Colonia Verde’s James Beard-nominated interiors were crafted by the American Construction League (Anella, Mayfield, Lady’s, Lilia), while Mettā has commissioned Brooklyn’s other design darlings, Home Studios (Torst, Sisters, Mast Brothers, Paulie Gee’s), who’ve kitted the sun-washed territory with handmade Terracotta tile, cream marble, natural wood, custom ceramic tableware and bell-shaped porcelain lamps.
Yet Mettā may just have the advantage with ace-in-the-hole co-owner/beverage director, Henry Rich, who’s previously endeared himself to Brooklyn with Rucola, June Wine Bar, and Cassette. Structured to complement Piattoni’s elemental cooking, his Old World, approachably-priced list of naturally produced, minimal intervention vinos includes magnums, orange wines, chilled reds, and pét-nat sparklers that exemplify their terroir— supplemented by teetotaling, health-promoting tonics, such as switchel, pear kefir ashwaganda maple soda, and bergamot tulsi tisane.
As for Fort Greene’s sizzling, South American dining scene, it’s already impressively robust.
197 Adelphi St., Fort Greene; (718) 233-9134