415 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 253-2828

For Speeds' birthday, I took her to Butter in the Village. Or is it NoHo? Who knows anymore. Lafayette street neat Astor Place. The last time I was at Butter was with Bro a couple of years ago when they hosted an event for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic and I got wasted. Turns out, they serve food here too. Who'da thunk? 

Holding a table for Speeds who was, of course, late by over a half hour, I noted the jazz classics playing through the softly lit room. I was expecting Butter to be far more trendy. Not that it's not a cool space. The ceiling alone says that much. Especially on a Saturday night, I was expecting it to attract the sequined dress set, but it was far more reserved. I arrived very early, before they had filled up, but by eight, there were few, if any, open tables. Our waiter was very nice, addressing me by name and shaking my hand, and the servers that we had were equally as upbeat and nice. While the volume of the music and the volume of the conversations of others was enough to give your conversation some privacy, Butter's subdued atmosphere made flash pics inappropriate. So pardon the smartphone photos of our food.

A selection of breads and herbal butters arrived at the table while we nursed our glasses of wine and scanned the menu. My appetizer was the Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras on a toasted square of brioche under a glaze of picked mustard, blood orange, and kumquat.  If you like liver, then the odds are, you'll like this. In fact, if you don't like liver, you'll probably like this. Speeds hates liver. She wouldn't eat it if you paid her. So when I handed her my fork I didn't tell her what it was and she liked it. Word to the wise, though, it's so rich and heavy that it's almost like eating meat-flavored butter. I honestly felt full afterwards. Speeds' appetizer was also extremely heavy. She ordered the House Made Ricotta and Mushroom Crostini: wild, semi-dry mushrooms over a thick helping of ricotta cheese so creamy that it could have been made by Redi-whip, all on a huge cuts of toast. So good. So so good, but also so so heavy. Between the breads and the butters and the liver and the cheese and the wine, we were about ready to crawl under the table and take a nap.

Still, there was dinner to be had... and a half bottle of wine left. I stuck with my New York State locavore rah rah rah self this evening and chose the Hudson Valley Duck Breast for my entree. Cooked medium rare, it was almost like eating steak. It came with a peppering of braised baby turnip, cabbage, and, with some of the same blood orange as was on the foie gras, it was the perfect accompaniment. It literally melted when I bit into it. Unlike the foie gras, it wasn't at all heavy. Speeds ordered the Hatfield Farms Pork Chop Milanese, a layering of shnitzelized pork chops, apples, and brussels sprouts under a mustard sauce. It was very good but a little bit boring. So although I liked it and I'd recommend it if you were really in the mood, I would personally probably have preferred some of the more interesting items that were on the menu, like Florida snapper or the Maya Shrimp. Since the pork chops was a far larger entree than the duck breast was each bite didn't feel like it would be your last. In fact, Speeds didn't finish it and she took what was left to go.

One bottle of wine plus two drinks, plus two appetizers, plus two entrees, plus tax and tip came to $210, but take $50 off that bill for this particular meal since I booked it through Savored.

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