Friday, April 17, 2015

Butter, NYC

A restaurant named Butter, no question about it, is going to be out-of-this-world, write home to your momma amazing. Add in that the head chef is Alexandra Guarnaschelli, famous Iron Chef and Food Network chef, and guaranteed, it will be a meal to remember.

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After looking up the menu beforehand (because that's what true foodies do, right?) Hubby was dead set on ordering the Homemade Ricotta Crostini as an appetizer. He told me about it as we were driving into the city and was instantly annoyed that I didn't share his excitement.

"It has crispy Brussels sprouts!" he said.

"And ricotta…which you don’t like.” I reminded him.
                                  
Nevertheless, we ordered it.

If you have never experienced crispy Brussels sprouts, make it a priority to try them today! Brussels sprouts aren’t exactly a popular vegetable; to me they are highly related in taste and smell to cabbage. In this appetizer, they are transformed from an icky vegetable that gets avoided on the dinner plate, to the star of the show. I was curious how ricotta would blend with earthy Brussels sprouts, but the crispy sprouts, the creamy ricotta, and the crunch of the bread beneath it all married together beautifully. It was like a bite-sized vegetarian flat bread.

Here is how much we loved this appetizer. The next weekend, I recreated our dining experience at home by following Alex’s recipe

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For dinner, Hubby ordered the Creekstone Farms “Butter Cut” Beef Filet with a side of Gnocchi Mac and Cheese. Butter Cut is the right word choice when describing this filet. It was tender, juicy, and smooth as butter. Turning gnocchi into mac and cheese was clever, and delicious.

I ordered the Roasted All-Natural Chicken Breast with sautéed sunchokes and black truffle butter. It was the sunchokes that really decided my meal. You might recall how I first met and fell in love with them during our Valentine’s Weekend (LINK) in NYC. However, I almost didn’t order the chicken for fear that the chicken wouldn’t be cooked properly. The last two or three times I have ordered roasted chicken (at different restaurants) I have either received super dry chicken or chicken that simply lacked flavor. Thankfully, Butter does chicken right. The skin had the necessary crisp to it, and the chicken was juicy and had absorbed the sweetness of the sherry it cooked in. The sunchokes continued to impress, but I couldn’t finish them because I had lost all self-control and also ordered a side of Roasted Red Norland Potatoes with rosemary sea salt.

We decided these potatoes also needed to be recreated at home, so I dug around and found a super simple recipe that in the end matched almost perfectly to the presentation and taste of Butter’s potatoes.

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The desserts certainly were tempting. I was particularly intrigued by the Frozen Toasted Marshmallow “Mallomar”, but we decided to refrain from ordering.*

*This could possibly be because we had popped into Magnolia Bakery only an hour before dinner and grabbed a few cupcakes. It could also have been because we had plans to head to Le Pain Quotidien for French Crème Donuts.

Butter was exactly the kind of restaurant I want to spend the rest of my life with and in this case, I’m not so sure if a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Don’t get me wrong, the food was what overall made this place a winner, but there was something about the name mixed with the atmosphere and environment when joined together with the food that made it perfection.

Along with an alluring name, bite, and décor what I loved most about a place like Butter is that from street view it gives off the facade of being a hole in the wall. A plain, seemingly small entrance with the word “Butter” can be easily missed, but behind the door lays an underground dining experience perhaps not meant for the entire world. Thankfully, we had the opportunity to partake in it.

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