Butterwood Sweet and Savory has made a remarkable transition from country- quaint, West Falls dessert maker to urban- chic restaurant with desserts extraordinaire.
Their new location on the ground level at the Lafayette Hotel (downstairs if you enter the main hotel entrance) is an elegantly decorated space with white table cloths, high ceilings, leaded glass windows, rich wood furnishings, and hardwood floors. They have a full bar separated by a 3/4 wall (banquette) from the dining area and a pizza oven with bar-style seating surrounding.
When I first heard Butterwood set up shop at the Lafayette I was thinking dessert place. This is a full-blown restaurant with a food footprint far beyond desserts. Thankfully, the desserts are still front and center. They offer a nice combination of appetizers, small plates and entrees, heavy on seafood. The menu is modern international of the type that is not easily categorized. Good for the creative chef, but not so for a simple description.
We started with Eat The Bowl French Onion Soup – built in an onion covered with Gruyere and aged provolone cheeses ($7). Really an interesting presentation, the onion “bowl” is in a bowl. Some of the broth spills over. Fun and tasty.
Cast Iron Lamb – spring lamb chops, pistachio dusted, red and gold beats three ways and goat cheese fondue ($15). The lamb was perfectly cooked to a medium rare in the center with a nice tasty crust outside. The best lamb I’ve had in recent memory. The goat cheese is heavenly and compliments the lamb nicely. The beets were really done three ways.
Lobster Corn Cake– Avocado marble, lobster succotash, red chili “caviar”, mango chimichurri, with yucca frites ($19). This is a nice dish, a little on the spicy side due to the pepper caviar. I didn’t get a lot of ‘lobster’ flavor with the cake and succotash but the combination was nice. The yucca frites were good too- more like chips.
Chicken & Dumplings – pan roasted airline chicken breast, black garlic dumplings, shitakes, cucumber- daikon slaw, hot ginger mustard ($14). I wasn’t sure about “airline” chicken and I’m still not sure what that means, but this dish was outstanding- a full, rich flavor that left me wanting more.
For a dessert you mosey up to the dessert case and pick what looks good- which is pretty much everything. We tried the carrot cupcake which was outstanding.
Butterwood still makes desserts for wholesale and retail –Butterwood Desserts. They create wedding cakes, produce desserts for other restaurants locally, and ship their desserts all over the country. While we dined there was a constant flow of people stopping in for a late evening sweet.
Menu Items missed:
There was a Free Formed Lasagna that looked interesting- shrimp, scallops, tomatoes, creamed spinach, lobster bisque ($28).
I’d also like to try the Poached Filet Mignon– in Sapporo beer, soy & chilies with shaved daikon, roasted garlic ponzu (citrus-based sauce ) & meted beer cheese crouton ($16).
Beverages: They have a vast wine list with ~ 100 from which to choose, several by the glass. They also have a full bar (TVs included). A few choice beers on draft.
My visit to Butterwood confirms my earlier suspicions. Hotel restaurants are no longer the “gouge the convenient clientele with high prices and subpar food” places they once were.
Butterwood Sweet & Savory is a reasonably priced establishment with a great look, creative menu and excellent food and service. Our server was extraordinarily knowledgeable – maybe a chef in training?
Kudos to the owner for making such a dramatic transition seem effortless.
391 Washington St Buffalo, NY 14203