In the middle of the 2014 summer a big group of us were in NYC for a birthday karaoke birthday party preceded by a meal at a restaurant close to Grand Central Terminal. The figuring was it would be convenient for everyone and a nearby Irish pub would suffice. I’m not one to bail out of things but I’ll admit to doing the food snob thing along with three others. Restaurants near GCT tend to be either not so good, overpriced, or both, plus for what I pay at a very average place I know I could find another place that has way better food and is around the same price.
That’s where Butter came in.
Butter, if you didn’t know, is noteworthy because its executive chef is Alex Guarnaschelli. You know her of course; cookbook author, Food Network personality, Iron Chef America, Chopped, all that. I have been a fan for a while and knew this was the right time to have a meal at Butter.
I was so stoked about the upcoming experience at Butter that I even made the reservation a few weeks ahead of time and essentially knew what I was going to order before I even stepped foot in the restaurant.
|The appropriately named, Big Apple.|
|The Cherry Blossom|
|Butter also makes homemade sodas that rotate frequently.|
We showed up pretty early and crashed at the big bar and ordered up some cocktails. My drink of choice was the sweet and slightly strong (but not too much) Cherry Blossom; Old Overholt Rye, morelle cherries, yuzu, and seltzer. At $16 the cocktails are right where most NYC drinks are price-wise. We also really liked the vibe at Butter as observed from the bar; classy but not stuffy, quiet but with a light buzz amongst the dinner crowd, a perfect spot to chill and have a drink.
The hard part about Butter is talking about the menu but only because it changes. As of now, the grilled Berkshire pork chop with collards and ham hock is not on the Midtown menu. However, it was what I like to call “pick up the bone and eat it” good. The chop itself was super juicy and I actually loved the greens and I typically don’t eat collards. Alongside it (for extra) we tried the potato cake where the potato was cut into almost thinner than angel hair strands and is made crispy and seasoned in a pan. This was like eating a fancied up version of a potato latke, but the best one on Earth.
We thought the food at Butter couldn’t get any better and then dessert happened. We jumped all over this amazing cake we saw on display at the pastry counter and later learned it was a Hungarian staple called a Dobosh torte; yellow cake, dark chocolate buttercream, with a salted caramel hard shell. That has got to speak for itself and it was a bit hit. It wasn’t too sweet and the crunch from the shell put it over the top. Every once in a while I catch myself thinking about this cake.
|Whoa. Like for real.|
|Da bomb. Seriously one of the best desserts I’ve had.|
It would be tough to top the Dobosh torte but Butter’s raspberry beignets pulled it off. I found them to be more like little jelly doughnuts than beignets but these sugared concoctions were filled with the proper amount of raspberry jam. It’s even a miracle that one of us didn’t drink the rest of the vanilla bean dipping sauce that come with the beignets. I want these every morning for breakfast and again after dinner.
The bottom line here is if you’re ever near GCT do what we did and hit up Butter. It’s a good night out, the ladies will love it, and their ever changing menu will have something for everyone. And oh yeah, Pro Tip: Don’t you dare skip dessert!
70 W 45th St
New York, NY 10036