Jason Denton, Restaurateur, Owner, ‘ino, ‘inoteca, intoeca e liquori bar, Corsino Cantina, Betto, New York, NY, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Williamsburg, West Village, East Side, Murray Hill, Lower East Side, Italian, Crostini, Panini, Small Bites, Cocktails, Wine Bar, Where to eat, Where to drink


Corsino, ‘inoteca, ‘ino, Lupa - New york, NY | Betto - Brooklyn, NY

Q & A with Restaurateur Jason Denton

Q. Tell us about Betto:

A. We’re focusing on Italian-inspired dishes, but going back to our roots and trying to simplify things and really work with as many of the producers and farmers that we know. It’s local, seasonal, comfort food with Italian, French, and Spanish influences. The wine list is all Italian, about 250 bottles, with the majority under $50 a bottle, and a big wine by the glass program.

With the beer program, we’re working with brewmaster Garrett Oliver. We’re right down the block from Brooklyn Brewery, and we’re featuring new selections brewed in Italy. With the cocktail program, just like ‘inoteca Uptown, we’re using a lot of small batch ingredients, with the kitchen helping with many of the products, instead of reaching out buying commercial products. Really producing as much as we can internally.



Q. What ingredient or product are you excited about currently using?

A. I brought back a number of different salts from Vietnam last year and I love working with them. They are hand doctored with different fish oils and make for some interesting flavors.

Lately, I've been playing with my meat injector, it's a simple tool but great for infusing flavor.  It's perfect when you don't have a lot of time and you want to roast a piece of meat. You can make a simple brine to coat the outside of the meat and than inject the brine along the bone and when it roasts it releases the brine, flavoring and tenderizing the meat, so simple but so effective.

[See details.]


Q. Are there food markets that you love?

A. Chelsea Market -- I love it for its depth of purveyors.

[See details.]

Q. Where would you suggest people buy great Italian products?

A. Eataly is a great resource, especially when I am preparing an Italian-inspired meal. Eataly has fantastic fresh and unique ingredients.

[See details.]


New York

Q. Where in the city are you a regular?

A. Do Hwa -- once a week, my wife and I take the kids there for Korea BBQ. The kids love it, they spread out and cook a bunch of different meats on the grill. It's a great concept and the barbecue is killer. 

[See details.]

Q. What restaurants do you think have authentic Italian food ?

A. Babbo and Del Posto -- for Italian food, Batali's restaurants are always some of my favorites because of the regional focus and also their ability to bring the true flavors of Italy to New York with our local ingredients.

As far as chefs go, Mark Ladner is king. When I go out for Italian it really depends on my mood when ordering, but I absolutely love pasta.

[See details.]

Q. Where do you go to eat off the beaten track?

A. One of my favorite cheap eat places in the world is Vanessa's Dumplings on the Lower East Side. I love any of the sesame pancakes, but my favorite is the duck.

[See details.]

Q. Where have you been lately for a stand-out meal?

A. Vinegar Hill House in Dumbo. I recently went and I loved it. We sat next to the fireplace in the basement, it felt down and dirty like the 70's. The food was delicious and the vibe matched.

[See details.]


Q. With your great knowledge of Italy, what are some less obvious restaurants we should check out there?

A. Outside of Montapluciano is a restaurant called Canapaccia. Killer little place. Two picnic benches outside under a giant 100-year old tree on a hill, dust in the air and bees flying all over the place. We had a simple salad with gorgeous, delicious olive oil. Fresh porcini mushrooms tossed with homemade fettuccine and a killer Porterhouse, and of course, Brunello from a small producer in the area. It didn't even seem like a restaurant, but more like someone having a picnic, except it was one of the most pleasurable, epic meals ever. Simple and amazing. The ingredients were made to perfection.  

[See details.]


Q. Favorite spot for a cocktail?

A. If I can get out for a cocktail early in the evening I love the Flatiron Lounge for its cocktails and atmosphere.

[See details.]

But I usually fix myself a drink at home, I make something called the Poppa -- it's slang for back of the boat. When I was Italy, I was on a boat with a bunch of Italian guys and we came up with this cocktail.

[See recipe.]


Q. Where to end the night with a drink?
A. I love to end the night at Hudson Bar and Books. Before cocktails were ‘all the rage,’ Hudson Bar and Books was making superior cocktails with excellent service in an understated and old school way.


[See details.]

Q. Have you come across any interesting or unique Italians wines or beers that you’re excited about?

A. One interesting Italian beer that I am loving right now and is from Baladin Brewery in Piedmont by Teo Musso. He's usually talked about as the ‘Jim Morrison’ of Italian beer. Beers are ‘Xyauyu’ vintage 2006 gold and silver. He leaves out the beers to oxidize for many years in a solera system inspired by sherry and Madeira makers. He also uses Lurisia spring water as the base of his beer. There is some innovative and exciting stuff going on with beer right now.  

[See details.]


Details of Jason Denton’s recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop in New York and Italy.

Cocktail Recipes

- The Poppa





138 North 8th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11211

T: 718.384.1904



West Village


637 Hudson Street

New York, NY 10014

T:212.242.3093 (make a reservation)




West Village


21 Bedford Street

New York NY 10012





Lower East Side


98 Rivington Street

New York, NY 10002





Murray Hill


323 3rd Avenue

New York, NY 10010

T: 212.683.3035 (make a reservation)




Greenwich Village


170 Thompson Street

New York, NY 10012

T: 212.982.5089 (make a reservation)





Website / Blog:




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- Simple Italian Sandwiches: Recipes from America's Favorite Panini Bar [buy it]

- Simple Italian Snacks: More Recipes from America's Favorite Panini Bar [buy it]

Recommended By

- Chef Ivy Stark (Dos Caminos in New York, NY)

- Chef Joe Ogrodnek

- Sommelier Joe Campanale (Anfora, dell’anima, L’Artusi in New York, NY)

- Sommelier John Slover (Bar Henry & Ciano in New York, NY)