If you’re a local Buffalonian, you probably remember that Butterwood had a dessert restaurant on Main Street in the village of Williamsville for many years. Butterwood has now been re-incarnated as a full service restaurant (Butterwood Sweet and Savory), but they still offer a decadent dessert counter. The restaurant is in the basement of the Lafayette Hotel. It’s a little challenging to find it. You can either enter at the far back corner of the building, where you must navigate down some treacherous steps, or wander through the lobby all the way to the back of the building where there are equally steep stairs to deal with (they do have a mini-elevator from the street entrance).
The restaurant is a bit cavernous and cold. You feel as though you are in a basement. It’s also very echo-y. The service was attentive, but we were there on a quiet week day night.
I’m quite pleased to see the new life the Lafayette Hotel has taken on. My grandparents spent their wedding night here during World War II. It was in disrepair for many years but is now a downtown hotspot. The restaurant’s concept is that each item has a sweet and a savory component.
When we made the reservation we mentioned there was a gluten-free diner in our party. When we were seated, I asked if they had a GF menu. They did not and the waitress then began to point to items I could consider. I find this confusing and hard to follow. Even if they handed me a menu that had a discrete dot next to the items I could order, it would be much easier than trying to remember the choices. There were many items that were off-limits unfortunately.
I started with the Simple Salad. I found the dressing too spicy for my palate and did not enjoy this choice. I would have been happier with the Sweet and Savory Salad I suspect. It was a lovely salad and would have been great if I’d been able to eat it without burning my mouth. Other apps were a possibility, including the seafood shots (my mom ordered this and enjoyed it), the raw oysters, or the charred lamb.
For my entree I had the Rack of Lamb and was able to substitute mashed potatoes for the orzo. The lamb was done perfectly. The potatoes were tasty. The blood orange granizado was a little dish of a sweet slushy I enjoyed very much. I didn’t care for the smoked Brussels sprouts, mostly because I’m not interested in winter vegetables in late June. There were few other entrees that were GF. I could have had pork or filet and that was about it.
I was concerned there would be no dessert options, but was pleased to discover there were GF cupcakes, creme brulee, and a flourless chocolate cake in the beautiful dessert case. I had a chocolate cupcake and it was really fabulous – moist and rich. It was nicely done. (Follow up note: we were downtown a few weeks later on a Saturday and got some cupcakes to go – this time my cupcake was dry).
I would go back, but only if the menu changes, since there just were not many options. The lamb and dessert were delicious. I made a poor choice for the salad, so that was my fault. The food is creative and fun.
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