While Butterfish does have a full bar menu, featuring a range of beers, whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, cocktails and wines, both Japanese and otherwise, could an authentic Japanese meal be complete without sake? Butterfish has a selection of several sakes, including flavored varieties, and we tasted both the plain sake, which had a lighter feel than regular wine and a lovely, delicate flavor, and the apple sake, with a unique fruity aroma, smelled fabulous and tasted even better.
Until that point, everything we had eaten at Butterfish had excelled in its simplicity, but our desserts offered a much greater level of complexity and both were truly outstanding. The Mandarin Chiboust Brulee was appropriately but not overpoweringly sweet and the Chiboust pastry cream was thick and velvety. Nestled on a pillow of sliced strawberries, blueberries and mandarin oranges, and surrounded by a pool of citrus sauce, the dessert was visually striking and a wonderful contrast in textures and flavors. The warm pistachio cake, topped with a dark chocolate sauce and drizzled with mango puree, was a truly fabulous dessert. The cake had a marzipan-like feel, but with the added intrigue of full bodied pistachio flavor and it paired beautifully with the deep chocolate sauce. While I would never have thought to include grapefruit on this plate, the pink grapefruit sorbet was nothing short of fantastic and a great foil to the cake. Light and refreshing, with a good balance of sweetness and grapefruitiness, this was one of the best sorbets I have ever eaten and even the two slices of pink grapefruit that were tucked neatly under the sorbet were spectacular.
Butterfish is a dining experience that is unparalleled in the kosher restaurant scene. If you are looking to enjoy really spectacular fish, be it authentic sushi, sashimi, nigiri or other artfully crafted rolls, just one taste will make you a true believer in this unique new eatery. While there is no doubt that the spotlight shines on treasures from the sea at Butterfish, even those who prefer to steer clear of fish will find themselves tempted by the well rounded menu and the extremely attentive service at this creatively innovative addition to the New York restaurant scene.