Thursday, August 20, 2009
Butcher Bay - Brunch with a Seafood Flair
Butcher Bay - 511 East 5th Street, New York NY 10009
F/V Train to 2nd Avenue
Because we're lovers of seafood and various crustaceans, Lisa and I went to check out Butcher Bay Oyster Bar for brunch last week. The menu piqued our interests because it incorporated seafood spins on classic brunch dishes. While our expectations weren't utterly surpassed, we did enjoy ourselves, being able to relax and unwind after a long week.
I really liked the simplicity of this place--it's rustic, non-pretentious and reminds me of a quaint fish shack somewhere in the Cape or on Long Island. The furnishings are mostly wooden and there's a cool mosaic-tiled bar with neat little fish hooks that you can use for coats or your handbags ladies. There are two tables in the front that are cheery and bright, allowing you to soak in the day's sunshine.
I was expecting a lot from the food, and while I enjoyed it, I was wowed only sporadically--once by the cucumber sangria and another time by the peanut butter mousse.
Hangtown Fry - Lisa and I both ordered this, as we love fried oysters, which were incorporated into this potato, bacon and spinach omelette. The portion was huge but a little sad looking--I thought that it could've used micro greens or something to liven up the plate. The fried oyster that rested on top was stupendous and amazingly crunchy, and the oysters on the inside were great too--very fresh. Bacon, which is usually my favorite breakfast ingredient could've been thicker and more flavorful, and the spinach was also unremarkable.
Eggs Benedict - Another favorite of mine, it looked excellent but was again, disappointing. The egg could've used another minute to cook, and there was too much lobster hollandaise sauce on it. Despite it being a very good idea, it wasn't executed well. An ingredient that worked beautifully in this dish was the Canadian bacon--it was grilled to perfection, providing the senses with a hint of smokiness.
French Toast - This is where things picked up and I'm glad that we ended off with this plate of yumminess. It was more like a dessert than an entree, which was perfect for me because I have a ginormous sweet tooth. The small pieces of French Toast were stuffed with gooey bananas, which were delightful and sprinkled with a hearty bacon crumble. One word--freakindelicious! A side of airier-than-thou peanut butter mousse was the best thing on the plate, which means a lot coming from a peanut butter detester such as myself. Overall, a splendid dish and one that I'd get again in a heartbeat.
Sangria - I was impressed by Butcher Bay's unusual sangria selection, boasting inventive flavors such as cucumber and sour cherry. While the sour cherry is still a work-in-progress (too bitter), the cucumber was a smash hit. Refreshing and citrusy, it's a perfect drink for a hot day, with crisp, clean flavors that lift you up, not weigh you down.
Service and Cost:
Our server was excellent and super attentive, giving us good recommendations when we asked for them. I also got to chat briefly with Chef, Eric Simpson who seems like a young entrepreneur, ready to experiment.
The costs are moderate with brunch dishes ranging between $7-$18 and drinks mostly in the $7-$8 range. If you decide to eat here for dinner, appetizers run between $2.50-$10 and entrees are $16-$25.