I'm kind of over celebrity chefs. I am just not starstruck by Food Network personalities anymore. I hardly even watch the Food Network. I am extremely cautious about eating at restaurants owned by celebrity chefs. I worry that they get by too much on the chef's name rather than the quality of the food. If a chef owns multiple restaurants, I wonder what the quality control is like. Once upon a time I would have died to eat at Paula Deen's Lady and Sons. Now I'm sure I could probably find a dozen better restaurants should I ever make it to Savannah. I have no interest in ever trying that hot mess Guy Fieri opened in Times Square. On the other hand, I have eaten at two of Mario Batali's restaurants and enjoyed them. It's not that I think all celebrity chef owned restaurants won't be good. I am just a bit skeptical. I think the one point to consider when eating at a celebrity restaurant is whether or not the chef in question is better known for his or her personality rather or for the food he or she prepares.
It was definitely the food and not the chef that has made me want to eat at Butter all of these years. Although she is rather dismissive and biting when she judges Food Network competition shows, Alex Guarneschelli is my kind of cook. I first discovered her on her old show The Cooking Loft and then eventually watched of some of her show Alex's Day Off. I always loved the food she cooked. She pays close attention not just to taste, but to texture and emotions. Her cooking isn't just about flavor, but it's also about feeling. I imagined that the food at her restaurant would be extremely satisfying both emotionally and physically.
For years I never tried to go to Butter because it was just too far downtown. It's a little out of the way of my job and my husband's job to bother with travel. Then she opened Butter Midtown just this year. It's just a short walk from my office and Grand Central Terminal. I can walk over there for dinner after work and then walk back to the train and go home as soon as dinner is over. I knew I had to eat there for my recent birthday.
It is located at the bottom floor of a hotel with a street-level entrance.
I would definitely come back here for an occasion even if I didn't know who the chef was. Well done, Butter.