I’ll post the rest of the unofficial minutes from last night’s meeting of the CB1 Tribeca Committee in a minute, but first, a bombshell: Big-time chef Michael White (Marea, Ai Fiori, Osteria Morini) is planning to open a restaurant called The Butterfly at 225 W. Broadway. That’s the small, white building between White and Franklin—wedged between Café Clementine and Churrascaria Tribeca. I’d say that it’s where Barzinho was most recently—and before that, Rosario’s Kitchen (a slice joint), and a Korean restaurant
whose name I don’t recall, J Marc—but I have a feeling that info won’t trigger much.
White is getting in touch with his Wisconsin roots: The menu [NOTE: Read the whole post before you email all your friends from Wisconsin] includes fried cheese curds (panko-breaded with sea salt, but still), chicken wings (Bell & Evans, but still), French Bread pizza (visions of my misspent youth…), a baked spinach-and-artichoke dip called the Crock Pot, House Made Sheboygan Style Brats, a fish fry, Norwegian meatballs…. Good news for those of you still smarting over the upcoming loss of Ivy’s Bistro: Prices are pretty reasonable, with entrées topping out at $25 for the stroganoff. (Stroganoff! It’s like my mom’s entire repertoire is coming back to haunt me. I should ask if she’ll part with her recipe for Porcupine Balls.) Click to enlarge the menus.
There will be 17 tables (seating 36), along with a 14-seat bar, as you can see from the floor plan. And a gas fireplace. And I’m guessing a lot of beer.
The members of the committee who know White’s restaurants were twitchy with excitement; everyone was concerned about the request for 4 a.m. closing seven days a week. White’s people said it should be allowed because the kitchen would be open till 3 a.m. on weekends (Fri.–Sat.) and 1 a.m. on weekdays (Sun.–Thurs.), and they claimed Tribeca needs late-night options beyond Tribeca Tavern. The committee was taking a straw poll over whether it would support 2 a.m. all week or 1 a.m./2 a.m., when White’s team announced that they’d take 1 a.m./2 a.m. if they could come back in a year and have 4 a.m. considered. The vote was 8–0.
UPDATE: I got an email from Altamarea’s PR person. The italicized comments are mine.
The story you posted is quite flawed. To begin, the menu you have is a very old edition and has been changed severely and abbreviated. [I look forward to posting a more up-to-date menu; in the meantime, we'll have to make do with the one presented last night as part of the liquor-license application.] I would appreciate if you could remove it as it isn’t factual. Second, as far as theme, the Butterfly is a mid-century style cocktail bar with a supper club feel – NOT a Wisconsin restaurant. [Sorry, but in my opinion—and I've been to Wisconsin—as soon as a menu has Brats, fried cheese curds, and a fish fry, it's a Wisconsin restaurant. If the menu no longer features those kinds of items, then perhaps a newer one should have been presented.] Please see more detail below. I hope you would alter your post. [Done.] I am happy to jump on the phone for a quick call if you are available.
Butterfly is by no means a “Wisconsin-themed” Supper club. [Note: Eater called it a supper club, not me.]
• The Butterfly is an exciting new concept from the Altamarea Group slated to open in Summer 2012.
• Butterfly will feature a broad array of cocktails by Eben Freeman, AMG Head of Bar Operations & Innovation, complimented with a menu by Chef Michael White.
• Butterfly is a mid-century style cocktail bar with a supper club feel. Cocktails will include era appropriate classics and other innovative selections. [Interesting. It was presented to CB1 as much more of a restaurant than a bar. And when a committee member noted that the bar was substantial, an Altamarea rep said, "Well, lots of people eat at the bar these days."]
• A limited food menu will compliment cocktails and will focus on traditional American classics, i.e. a great steak, burger, fried chicken.
• Weekday supper specials will include Prime Rib Dinners on Wednesdays and a Friday night Fish Fry.
• Butterfly is located at 225 West Broadway at Franklin Street in Tribeca. It will be open 7 days a week from 11:30am to 2:30am.
• There will be 55 seats as well as additional bar seats.
• Altamarea Group is delighted to join the Tribeca neighborhood and community and is looking forward to providing guests with innovative cocktails and American cuisine.
UPDATE #2: She insists that Butterfly will not be “Wisconsin-themed at all,” and that instead it’s a “supperclub with American classic cuisine.” The menu is a work in progress, and the one shown above is “as it stood when we applied to the community board.” She says she just doesn’t want people to expect the restaurant to be something it’s not. I think it’s fair to say that only Wisconsinites will be disappointed….