Butter Midtown & McNulty's

Before Chopped, I used to watch Gossip Girl. You might be like, "WTF? How are those two shows even related?" Here me out. In Gossip Girl, Blair and her cronies hit up the restaurant Butter multiple times. Blair (a.k.a. Queen B) is one of my favorite mean girls of all time, so of course, it made me add Butter to my list of wanna-go restaurants in the city.

Fast forward a few years and I got hooked on Chopped. I was introduced to Alex Guarnaschelli. She was honestly critical without being mean, full of praise when it was deserved, and had a great vocabulary for describing food. I quickly added her to my list of chefs I love, where she enjoyed the company of Alton Brown, Nigella Lawson, and Ina Garten. And yes, I have many lists.

Well, finally, the weekend after Christmas, I made my way over to Butter with my sister. We'd originally made a reservation for dinner but after looking at the lunch menu, we switched to lunch.
Butter used to be located downtown but recently they moved to midtown. You'll find them on 45th & 6th.

"In Love with the Cocoa," really? Really, Alex? Hilarious, kind of, but I hate that song.
After taking our drink order, we were brought over some warm parker house rolls with homemade chive butter. This bread was so delicious. It reminded me of challah. It was lightly sweet, crisp, and airy. We loved it so much that we asked for a second round shortly after inhaling the first plate.
I went with a Crispin cider - which they offer warm or cold - which was light and a perfect lunchside drink.
For one of our starters, we had the wild mushroom soup. The presentation was beautiful. They brought over a bowl with crispy mushrooms and scallions and then poured the hot soup over the top.
The soup was creamy, really mushroomy, and so incredibly flavorful. It was thick and perfect for dunking bread into. We ended up wiping the bowl clean with bits of bread. We couldn't bear to waste one drop.
For our other appetizer, we got the Hawaiian yellowtail with birdseye chilis and olive oil. It was beautifully plated. The fish was really fresh and delicate and the olive oil added a lovely unctuousness to the light yellowtail. It was definitely on the smaller side, especially compared to the soup, but it's also pure protein and rich so the portioning was appropriate.
One of the entrees we got was the ricotta ravioli. It was smothered in pesto and cream and garnished with crispy oyster mushrooms. This was crazy delicious and such a well balanced dish. The heaviness of the creamy ricotta and the buttery sauce was lightened and brightened by the bright pesto. And the crispy mushrooms added a lovely textural element.
For our other entree, we got the butter burger 2.0 which was the star of the meal. It was a burger topped with bacon jam and jalapeno slaw, monterey jack fondue, and fries.
The bun was buttery biscuit, which made this rich dish even richer. The burger was tender, the bacon jam was sweet and smoky, the slaw was crunchy and spicy, and the fondue was so creamy. There were just so many amazing elements tiered together to make an amazing burger. It was seriously one of the best restaurant burgers I've ever had.
For dessert, we had a mocha and walnut ice cream sandwich. It came with a chocolate sauce that we drizzled all over the top. The cookies were crisp, the ice cream was packed with mocha and walnut flavor, and the toasted espresso beans sprinkled onto the plate were a lovely touch.
After lunch, we hopped on the subway down to Soho to go to my favorite tea shop, McNulty's.
We were running low on my favorite loose leaf chai tea, so we went to stock up. I also decided to get a little mango tea, just to try it. It smelled so amazing, I can't wait to brew a cup. My sister got a little darjeeling to take with her to work. Their golden darjeeling is the best. It's so fragrant and sweet and it makes a perfect cuppa.
If you're a tea and/or coffee lover, I highly recommend going to McNulty's. They have a serious selection and they can grind the coffee for you (to whatever grind you like, coarse or fine) and the staff are just so friendly.
So that was our day in the city. It was chilly so we didn't spend too much time wandering and shortly after picking up our teas, we hopped on a train back home. It was a good day.

I'll just leave you with one last shot of the best burger ever.


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