Briana Costa, guest blogger, here, excited to participate in my second Hudson Valley Restaurant Week!
Butterfield 8 American Gastropub opened in White Plains recently and after seeing the bright lights and crowds inside for a few weeks, I was thrilled to finally get to enjoy a dinner there. Even better was that my mother, blogger Patrice Costa, had agreed to be my date for the evening. There is nothing better than having a great meal with a fellow foodie!
Walking into Butterfield8, the first thing you notice is the huge square shaped bar surrounded by people enjoying an after work drink and yelling at one of the many TV’s in the area showing sports games. Don’t let this deter you if you were looking for a quieter meal! While you can definitely still hear a bit of the noise from the bar, past the bar and down a few steps is a dining room that leads to an open kitchen. The dining room is secluded enough that you were still able to have a conversation at your table. The restaurant is decorated with dark wood walls and floor with a bright white ceiling and globe lights throughout. It made a very nice contrast as my mother and I settled into our comfy booth seats.
Once seated, our waitress brought over bread for the table. Instead of Italian bread and butter she served us pretzel bread with a spicy mustard sauce.
The bread was warm and dense and the mustard had just enough kick without being too spicy for a spice-shy person like myself. Although both of us are usually wine drinkers, the BU8 Bellini looked too good to pass up – poema cava brut and house made peach puree.
The presentation of the drink, with the clear layers of peach puree and sparkling wine, looked very cool but meant that it was difficult to get any of the delicious puree on the bottom. However, once stirred (my mom had the brilliant idea to use our knives – but you can ask the sever for a straw) these drinks were a great accompaniment to both of our meals!
For our first course, I chose the Stuffed Meatball with mozzarella, ricotta and pesto. The meatball was absolutely gargantuan.
The consensus at the table was that if you tend to inhale your food (like my younger brother does) this was the dish for you. Even after only eating half of it, I was ready to take a break. It was fried, giving the outside a very nice crunch while still keeping the inside moist. The combination of pesto and tomato sauce was a new one for me, but it definitely worked for this dish mixing the acidity of the tomato sauce with the fresh herbiness (according to my mom that is an actual word) of the pesto.
My mom chose to start with the Eggplant Bruschetta with roasted peppers, golden raisins, herb goat cheese and house made focaccia.
This dish seemed to have it all – sweetness from the raisins, a little bite from the eggplant and creaminess from the cheese. The focaccia bread was piled high with ingredients but still somehow retained its crunch throughout the entire plate. My mom said the dish reminded her of a caponata (eggplant spread) in disguise.
For our second course, I chose the Ricotta Gnocchi with garden peas, spring onion, asparagus and blistered grape tomato.
Considering our dinner was on the day after the first snow of the season in White Plains, this dish was surprisingly spring. The vegetables were fresh and full of flavor and the broth took on those fresh flavors. The only way this dish could’ve been improved was if they added MORE of the vegetables!
My mom chose the Arctic Char with basil ragout, sautéed spinach and herb butter.
The arctic char was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin and buttery texture. The ragout was bursting with flavor and was an amazing pairing with the fish. Sometimes, at least for me, fish like the arctic char can get a little overwhelming in their buttery-ness. The acidity of the ragout helped even out the flavors for me.
All of the dishes seemed to be big portions, so it’s no surprise that both of us had issues trying to finish our entrees and ended up having to take some home. My mom was nice enough to let me take everything home and both dishes tasted just as good heated up in my apartment as they did in the restaurant! Before our desserts were brought over to our table, our waitress came over to let us know that if we didn’t feel like we were able to finish she would be happy to wrap our desserts up for us as well. This was the first time I had ever seen a restaurant offer to let me take home my dessert and I loved having the option!
There were only two choices for dessert, the Market Cupcake and Junior’s New York Cheesecake, so we decided to share.
The cupcake of the day was a cinnamon toast cupcake with peanut butter frosting. While seriously good, based on how dense the cupcake was it reminded me more of a muffin than a cupcake. Muffin or cupcake, it definitely tasted like cinnamon and the frosting was amazing. The cheesecake came with a drizzle of caramel on top and, as expected with it being a Junior’s Cheesecake, it was delicious.
Butterfield8 definitely did not disappoint when it came to dinner and I’m really looking forward to being able to try it out as a new restaurant and bar for my friends and I in White Plains!