since restaurant week was extended, it gave me the chance to try another restaurant i haven’t before! now, i’ve heard of butter before – the previous year, i watched a lot of this food network show, chopped, and one of the judges was alex guarnaschelli, the executive chef of butter. when you watch reality food shows, you feel bad for the contestants when the judges are harsh on them. i distinctly remember alex because she never had a smile on her face as she tasted dishes from the various chefs. after eating at butter, i now wonder how chefs who create amazing flavor dishes can tolerate tasting food that aren’t good.
butter was amazing! for the appetizer, i had the grilled house-made chicken sausage with spicy lentils and parsley. i never had lentils like this before – they were amazingly flavorful, down to the very last pea. the sausage also so good and they were perfect together. from this first appetizer, i knew this meal was going to be crazy delicious!
my main dish was the braised pork shoulder with roasted heirloom eggplant, zucchini and summer savory. the pork was flavor was seasoned to perfection with the eggplant is softened to the point it was part of the sauce – now, i usually don’t like eggplant but the way it was made in this dish, i love it! m had the crispy roasted all-natural chicken thighs with smoked beech mushrooms with dandelion greens and crimini. now, we already know chicken and mushroom is a great combo but the flavor is bumped up a notice with the slightly bitter greens. together it was gratifying.
for dessert, i had the cocoa cake with vanilla ice cream with brandied cherries. i usually like moist cake but while this cocoa cake was denser, it was still pretty amazing. the vanilla ice cream worked well with the rich chocolate cake but what made it even better was the little cocoa bits sprinkled on the bottom of the plate that mixed with the cake and ice cream and gives you the surprise crunch in your mouth. such a small touch but wonderful.
now, if the food being magnificent wasn’t enough, the restaurant is beautifully designed. the entrance has a small waiting room leading to another narrow hallway/lounge with funky wooden seats. the panels are all wood so there is such a warm feeling. there are also built in horizontal display shelves with picked vegetables, sculptures or candles. contrast to the wood, are two bright pictures of trees in opposite ends of the restaurant – one in the entry way and one at the back wall of the upper level dining room. downstairs was a darker lit equally large dining room / lounge with a bar and a dj booth. finally there are tree branches with white lights and a few flower arrangements that tied the whole decor together.
butter restaurant was truly a wonderful experience.
eat at Butter Restaurant in the nolita, ny