Restaurant Week: ‘Buttering up’ to Butter

For some, Christmas in New York is the happiest time of the year. But for me, there are few things that top Restaurant Week. Nearly 300 restaurants across the city create a unique menu for a 3-course lunch ($25) and dinner ($38), which is an amazing deal considering one course alone at most of these restaurants is upwards of $25. Consider Restaurant Week the best, wallet-friendly opportunity to take your lady to the crème de la crème places in the city.

To kick off Restaurant Week—which, by the way, is more like 3 weeks—I went to Butter: a place near the East Village that I’ve heard about for years for its charming ambiance, delicious food…and its debut on Gossip Girl. I have always been rather skeptical about such high-profile places (with the fear that they are very overrated, and the food is mediocre) but I’ve got to say I was very impressed with Butter. And after the fairly filling 3-courses, I was still left wanting more.

While I glanced at the menu, the waiter graced the table with a basket of gourmet corn bread and two types of, you guessed it, butter: one of which was garlic. It was as if the waiter was trying to butter me up (pun intended), and prepare me for the great food that was soon to come.

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Butter’s Shaved Market Vegetable Salad = the best way to kickoff my meal.

For my appetizer, I ordered the market vegetable salad, which was beyond delicious. I’m usually not the biggest fan of goat cheese, but the way the chef mixed it in with the lemon and the olive oil made it less strong and I was hooked.

The main course, however, was by far my favorite. As a cheese lover, I was immediately attracted to the ravioli. But the entrée came with oven-roasted oyster mushrooms, which presented a problem since I can’t seem to acquire a taste for mushrooms. Luckily, the waiter and chef were more than willing to modify the meal for me. But don’t expect that everywhere. Most Restaurant Week menus come as is, no exceptions and no substitutions. So I was both surprised and delighted when the Butter staff was so accommodating. The ravioli was great, too. They came in a creamy, white sauce and the ricotta definitely did not disappoint.

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The ravioli was stuffed with delicious, homemade ricotta cheese. Try not to drool.

Dessert came shortly after. I opted for the chocolate espresso ice cream cake, and my friend got the strawberry back pepper sorbet. Gents take note: if you are taking a date, they will not be disappointed. Both desserts were to DIE for.

It’s safe to say that Butter surpassed all of my expectations. Take a look at their Restaurant Week menu here. It’s a great place for a first outing and trust me, you won’t regret it.

Been to Butter? You have until August 16th to taste the other 299 participating restaurants in the city. Here’s the full list.

Stay tuned for more of my Restaurant Week thrills and reviews!