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Friday, June 4, 2010

East Coast Extravaganza: Dinner 2 - Butter

Butter is one of the best culinary experiences of my life. The food was beyond amazing. It was perfectly seasoned, brilliantly cooked, divinely presented and was just all around incredible. For those of you who don't know, Butter is one of the city's chic places to eat. Its got a nice ambiance, and you need a reservation a month in advance to get a seat. Its not uncommon to see various NYC celebs there. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is one of the Food Network chefs. She is one of the intense judges on the show Chopped and has her own show Alex's Day Off. She's great.

Course 1 - Watercress Soup: fresh watercress. Hands down the best seasoned soup I have ever had. This soup was nice and creamy. I can't say enough how much I loved this. The color was beautiful from the blanching and the texture was perfect from the sieve. I'm sold on the idea of watercress in a soup.

Course 2 - Fish Dish. . . ? This fish dish with a rough salad was a nice light dish. It was nicely flavored and well seared. While this was definitely not my favorite course (thus the reason I can't fully remember what it was) it was still absolutely delectable.

Course 3 - Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras "Torchon" with kumquat marmalade and rye bread. The foie gras was beautiful. It almost brought tears to my eyes. It wasn't overly salty like some foie gras tend to be. It was creamy, moist, and abundant. Just the way it should be served.

Course 4 - Soft-shelled Crab with lardons and seafood velouté. In comparison to the soft-shell crab from the previous establishment, this was heaven. The tempera batter was perfect and light. The frying made it golden and crispy. The flavor of the crab came through brilliantly. It was one of the best courses.

Course 5 - Seared Colorado Rack of Lamb with grilled eggplant and oven roasted tomatoes with anchovy and paprika dressing. The frenched lamb job was brilliant. Perfectly seared and served medium rare, it had some of the best flavor of any lamb I've had. The roasted eggplant and tomatoes add a rustic charm to the dish. They were incredibly flavored and as juicy as can be (and the tomato left a nice stain on my white linen shirt). Definitely the most delicious dish of the evening, and a great entrée.

Course 6 - Praline Ice Cream with marmalade in a chocolate cup. This was a very quant little dish of ice. The chocolate was perfectly formed, the ice cream not to sweet, and the marmalade gave just a nice amount of tang. It was a nice dessert. Not the best I've ever had, but nice.

Gift from the Kitchen - Raspberry Beignets with vanilla dipping sauce. These beignets were perfectly cooked. They were light and fluffy, delicately sugared and served warm. The vanilla sauce was delightful also. This was a beautiful light closing to the meal.

This was by far the best food I've had thus far. I absolutely loved it. Even better, Chef Alex came out into the dining area so we got to see her. It made the experience even more exciting to know that she was there doing the cooking of our food. What an experience. Life goal: complete.


  1. This is so cool, Lee!! Patrick and I are total wanna-be foodies- we love cooking shows. how neat that you ate such awesome and gourmet food!!