The Butterfly is Michael White’s newest comfort, casual and affordable restaurant in Tribeca that leans away from his well-known Italian, crudo and pasta empire. It’s a fun and different take from this Wisconsin chef and interesting to see him create a completely new concept for another audience. The bar is shaped like a Butterfly, hence the name of the restaurant. The menu is composed of heart attack foods such as Reuben Croquettes, Crispy Squash Blossoms, Patty Melt, French Fries, Fried Chicken and a list of impeccable dessert creations, but, hey, that’s what everyone wants these days so Chef Bianco is giving it to ya in a less greasy, cheap way. The best part about the Fried Chicken is that it’s crispy and the actual meat is juicy without being soaked in grease (your napkin will be dry after you attack this bird). I will admit that I am a chooser of white meat, however, in this case the dark meat shockingly won for me. I almost didn’t even try it and then it just happened. Thank goodness my dining partner peer pressured me to. The honey butter biscuit is another reason you should order this great little package dinner. It’s truly memorable, homey, buttery and warm. I ordered the Chopped Salad to get some sort of greens and luckily it was awesome. The crunchy and fresh corn really stands out and the creamy dressing which has Southern flavors tastes like Caesar’s cousin but better. The Patty Melt was a last minute decision as everyone has been writing about it so had to obviously add that into the mix. The french fries are thick-cut and you should absolutely get these on your table no doubt. The Patty Melt is pretty good, cooked medium, but I think I prefer a burger bun versus rye bread. Just a personal preference.
The drinks are also a huge standout here and maybe one of the main reasons to come by for a visit. I love how they are drawn on the cocktail menu to give you a little hint of what you are ordering. I got the specialty cocktail of the night which was a Lovage Sour with gin, lemon, celery, sour and something spicy. It was an amazing, non sweet and extremely refreshing choice. Go with the special or choose a Tom Collins, Paloma or Grasshopper.
The dessert menu has almost every dessert I can think of that I would want any day of the week. This is really what caught my eye about The Butterfly, but what’s new? My favorite was definitely the Hot Blonde Sundae. Anything with ice cream, caramel or chocolate sauce and a freshly baked good is impossible to beat. The presentation of each dessert is so delicately placed, over thought in a good way and very pleasant to look at. After you indulge in some fried chicken and toss back a few cocktails, what’s nice is that the desserts are not overly sweet, and they will not throw you over the edge. I actually could have poured more sugar into that carrot cake. The adorable Float comes with a vanilla ice cream and a can of Dr. Pepper. The ice cream in the Coppa Cola sundae tastes exactly like a Coke- it’s pretty cool. The Chocolate Cake is monogrammed with a “B” for Butterfly and a circular, possibly personalized size cake, but you’ll want to share a few of these. Skip the chocolate chip cookies, you can get that anywhere and Pastry Chef Bob Truitt’s other desserts are more focused and exciting!
Due to its location, The Butterfly, is packed with Wall Streeters and businessmen and those who want to get their Fried Chicken on. They have a space in the back that can be closed off so if you are looking for a place for an event it makes sense here.