Butterfish, West Chester

March 2nd, 2008

700 W. Nields St. (Rt 52)
West Chester, PA
(610) 738-8800

Butterfish closed in March 2010.

Overall: Creative, modern American BYOs aren’t that hard to find in this area these days, and Butterfish is certainly one of them. This restaurant, however, creates separation with a diverse menu, great execution and a vibrant atmosphere.

Food: Innovative, new American fare, as mentioned above. The signature dish is a sauteed Hawaiian butterfish in a ginger buerre blanc and a macadamia green apple salad. As you can imagine, this dish is quite popular and good, though perhaps our least favorite of all the dishes, which says something. The filet with a Cabernet demi, shallots and smashed yukon golds was simple, but very tasty and perfectly cooked. A pork “porterhouse” special, served with a smoky mushroom & pepper sauce and mashed sweet potatoes, was probably the true highlight of the meal. (The moral here: don’t be afraid to get something besides fish!) For appetizers, we tried the blue corn nachos (huge portion!) and the polenta with smoked tomato sauce, and both were scarfed down in no time. Lastly, be sure to save room for dessert. We were in a chocolate frenzy, ordering (if I remember correctly) a flourless cake with raspberry sauce, a chocolate pecan pie or tart, and lastly a oatmeal chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. My personal favorite was the latter, but there was much arguing over which was the best during the few seconds we were eating them.

Atmosphere: Bustling, open and bright room creates a very welcoming atmosphere; I’d even venture to say better than most in this class.

Service: Solid — attentive and helpful.

Value: Obviously the BYOB factor immediately creates value. Entrees are generally in the mid 20s, which is about right considering the quality of food and lack of wine markup.

Details:
Bar: BYOB
Reservations: Yes
Cards: Yes
# of Visits: 1
http://butterfishrestaurant.com

8 Responses to “Butterfish, West Chester”

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  1. Common Cents says:

    My wife and I visted for the first time on our anniversary. We were extremely impressed by the entire experience. Our waitress was knowledgeable and friendly. We tried the crab stuffed scallops for our appetizer followed by salads and the crab cakes. Everything was perfectly prepared. Dessert did not fail to impress. The peanut butter pie is fantastic. If you are looking for quality food and a pleasant atmosphere, give Butterfish a try!

  2. suzanne says:

    Have been to Butterfish twice in the last month after a long absence. was greatly pleased both with lunch and dinner. Lunch was a delicious scallop yakisoba with six large, plump, perfectly cooked scallops and a sizeable portion of soba noodles in a savory asian sauce. Enjoyed it so much I went back with my husband for dinner and had a cajun spiced scallop and shrimp dish that was delectable. we shared a hummus, olive,etc, antipasto appetizer that was wonderful (enough to take some home for lunch the next day) and split the stuffed pepper appetizer that was a meal in itself. Our server Alison could not have been more professional or helpful. I didn’t remember it as being as good as it was. We will certainly return in the near future!

  3. jph says:

    I agree with Lauren. My wife and I made the drive out to west chester from philadelphia after hearing good things from a friend who had eaten there. It’s a nice space and we were greated nicely. Where the restaurant fell short was the food. All total, they were out of 4 things we ordered. This was a monday evening, I would think that everything would be fresh and preped up since it was the first day of service for them (they are only open for brunch on sunday). Having said that, I think when restaurants are out of so many things on a menu its a sign of a lazy and poorly run kitchen. We started with the smoked fish platter, you have a choice of about 6 items… they were out of 2 of the things we choose. Then, they were out of one of the appetizers we ordered. Lastly, they were out of a dessert we ordered. The food we did receive was ok. Just ok, nothing ground breaking or worth a special drive. One thing I noticed is a huge amount of repetition on the menu. The same “garlic mashed potatoes” used on several dishes and also this strange desire to crust all the fish with some type of shellfish. For example… crab crusted flounder, shrimp and scallop crusted swordfish and crayfish crusted grouper. I don’t know, all these things may have tasted great, but I’d like to see some different choices… possibly some non-shellfish crusted items. Our server was nice and polite and handled all the problems with the kitchen well. It actually became a running joke at the table that they were out of so many things. We found out later that our server splits his time between butterfish and gilmores.

  4. jph says:

    I agree with Lauren. My wife and I made the drive out to west chester from philadelphia after hearing good things from a friend who had eaten there. It’s a nice space and we were greated nicely. Where the restaurant fell short was the food. All total, they were out of 4 things we ordered. This was a monday evening, I would think that everything would be fresh and preped up since it was the first day of service for them (they are only open for brunch on sunday). Having said that, I think when restaurants are out of so many things on a menu its a sign of a lazy and poorly run kitchen. We started with the smoked fish platter, you have a choice of about 6 items… they were out of 2 of the things we choose. Then, they were out of one of the appetizers we ordered. Lastly, they were out of a dessert we ordered. The food we did receive was ok. Just ok, nothing ground breaking or worth a special drive. One thing I noticed is a huge amount of repetition on the menu. The same “garlic mashed potatoes” used on several dishes and also this strange desire to crust all the fish with some type of shellfish. For example… crab crusted flounder, shrimp and scallop crusted swordfish and crayfish crusted grouper. I don’t know, all these things may have tasted great, but I’d like to see some different choices… possibly some non-shellfish crusted items. Our server was nice and polite and handled all the problems with the kitchen well. It actually became a running joke at the table that they were out of so many things. We found out later that our server splits his time between butterfish and gilmores.

  5. Lauren says:

    OVERPROMISED, UNDERDELIVERED.

    We went on a Friday night with another couple. The butterfish was OK, not great. My house salad was not good at all. My friend’s steak came out rare even though she ordered it medium. When she asked to have it cooked through, they pulled it off her plate and left her with her side dishes for 20 minutes while they cooked it.

    It was very amateur and not worth the trip.

  6. BYO Foodie says:

    The first time we ate at Butterfish it was delicious. The smoked fish appetizer was definitely worth trying! All five of us ordered the butterfish and it was wonderful. The service was excellent as well.
    The second time we went back (about 5 months later) we were extremely disappointed. The service was horrible. Our appetizer came out right away. Then we waited a very long time for our entrees and the waitress offered us free dessert for our patience. By the time we got the main dishes they was lacking flavor and tasted like they were just saturated in butter. At this point, I wasn’t in the mood for dessert. Having been a waitress myself through highschool, college and grad school I would have offered us dessert to take home but she didn’t- nor compensated us by taking our appetizer off the bill. After dropping off the bill, she disappeared for quite awhile. It was such an ordeal trying to pay the check and leave. It could have been an off night but, I’m not sure how long the restaurant will last if more people have similar experiences.

  7. BYO Foodie says:

    The first time we ate at Butterfish it was delicious. The smoked fish appetizer was definitely worth trying! All five of us ordered the butterfish and it was wonderful. The service was excellent as well.
    The second time we went back (about 5 months later) we were extremely disappointed. The service was horrible. Our appetizer came out right away. Then we waited a very long time for our entrees and the waitress offered us free dessert for our patience. By the time we got the main dishes they was lacking flavor and tasted like they were just saturated in butter. At this point, I wasn’t in the mood for dessert. Having been a waitress myself through highschool, college and grad school I would have offered us dessert to take home but she didn’t- nor compensated us by taking our appetizer off the bill. After dropping off the bill, she disappeared for quite awhile. It was such an ordeal trying to pay the check and leave. It could have been an off night but, I’m not sure how long the restaurant will last if more people have similar experiences.

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