I grew up only a couple miles away from Butterwood’s first location in West Falls. Alli and I have a lot of memories of heading down there with our families for dessert, especially their apple pie. When I first heard about their move to the Hotel Lafayette, I assumed they would be opening a larger dessert shop and catering headquarters. I had no idea, until reading this Buffalo Rising article, that they’d be actually opening a full fledged fine dining restaurant. So last Friday Alli and I decided we’d stop by the hotel and check it out.
The restaurant has an entrance from inside the hotel but they also have an outdoor entrance on Clinton/Elliot that’s less evident (I’m assuming a sign/awning will be coming soon). We made a reservation, nervous about how popular the restaurant would be. It turns out we did not need a reservation as we were two of only a handful of people dining at the time but I assume as the restaurant becomes more popular reservations will be recommended. When we walked down the stairs into the dining room we were immediately impressed, the restaurant and bar is gorgeous. Mike A’s and Pan American Grill are both lovely dining rooms in their own right, but Butterwood’s really stands out.
- Restaurant Type: Fine Dining
- Cuisine: Fine Dining, Bakery/Sweets
- Location: Downtown
- Prices: Appetizers $5-15, Small Plates $10-20, Entrees $25-38
The restaurant has several seating options; a long bar with a big screen TV, a banquet seating area with a long white bench (to separate the bar area) and additional bar seating around their pizza oven which is at the back end of the dining room. We looked at their menu online beforehand and knew we’d be sharing a couple small plates and maybe a pizza. I started my meal off with a drink off their Classic Cocktail menu, the Zombie ($9, gallery), which was made up of Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Light Rum, Gold Rum, Falernum, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice and Angostrura Bitters. The drink was strong but still very enjoyable and easy to drink, almost dangerously so. We were given a basket of bread (gallery) that was still steaming warm, had a nice crunchy crust and a small amount of spice. Before our meal came out, our waiter brought over an amuse bouche (gallery), two small glasses of a seafood bisque which had a creamy thick broth and several pieces of shrimp.
Our meal started off with the “Eat the Bowl” soup (gallery) which is Butterwood’s take on French Onion soup. The entire soup was in a hollowed onion that was filled with caramelized onions and topped with cheese. The presentation was awesome, albeit a little difficult to eat the actual ‘bowl’. The soup was thick and not overly salty, which is common with french onion soup. We were very pleased.
Next came the Sweet and Savory pizza (pictured below), that was topped with poached pear, Coaches Farms goat cheese, olive oil, balsamic syrup, arugula, Serrano ham and caramelized onions marmalade. I would have loved to see more ham on the pizza and I thought it was a little more sweet than savory. Alli especially loved the pizza and enjoyed several slices. The crust was crispy and the toppings were generous. I am sure I will be trying more pizza’s off their menu in the future.
We then had the “Bacon and Egg” ($10 pictured above, top) which included a crispy piece of pork belly topped with a fried quail egg and provided the best Food Porn of the evening. The pork belly was perfect, a crispy skin with fat that just melted in your mouth. Definitely not a plate to share, the serving size was pretty small, but it was delicious and I’d highly recommend it. We also ordered their Pappardelle Pasta ($13, gallery) off their small plates menu; a chorizo sausage broth with mild mushrooms, sweet peas, roasted red peppers and saffron-goat cheese fondue. For me, the goat cheese fondue with the chorizo broth was an interesting combination and not exactly what I was thinking, however Alli loved the pasta and we managed to finish the entire bowl.
Since we were at Butterwood, we obviously had to order something off their dessert menu. We ended up sharing a Chocolate Peanut Butter Torpedo (gallery), which had a rich chocolate base with a chocolate cone filled with peanut butter mouse. Besides being a little too cold (and taking a while to get to our table), it was really great and served with a side of cream cheese ice cream. If you don’t feel like sitting down for dinner, you can still go up to their dessert counter and order something to go. We definitely plan on stopping by again and ordering something sweet.
The restaurant has only been open for a week and I’m sure minor tweaks will only make the experience even better in the future. We really enjoyed our meal and we’re looking forward to taking more people back to show them the gorgeous dining room and their affordable, fine dining menu.