Butera's New Italian Cuisine Is All The Rage
Butera's is an excellent family owned “New Italian” restaurant with four convenient locations throughout Long Island. One in Woodbury on Jericho Turnpike in the Woodbury Village shopping center, the second on the bustling East Main Street of Smithtown, the third in Seaford across from the train station on Sunrise Highway and last but not least, their newest location and first family style restaurant in Sayville on South Main Street.
Butera's is owned and operated by Martin Butera, his lovely wife Laurie, Martin's brother Gary Butera and partner and Chef Nick Zografos. We visited their Woodbury location, which is elegantly designed and features a comfortable outdoor dining area. During the warmer months it’s a pleasantly comfortable place to dine al fresco. And if you choose to do your dining indoors you're in for a cozy and delightful treat. The interior of the restaurant, which gives off a very Tuscan feel, is charmingly decorated with a copper ceiling, hardwood flooring, faux finishes, stone accents and attractively furnished with open wine bins throughout. The dining area is very open and appealingly appointed with a traditional and contemporary mix.
wood and granite bar in the right-hand corner of the restaurant is the perfect place to grab a drink or appetizer if you're waiting for a table. While at the
bar, be sure to say hello to the animated and attentive bartenders and ask them about their famous Coconut Martini, which is one of Butera's
hand crafted, signature Martini's (below left). The Coconut Martini, which is generously
rimmed with crunchy, toasted coconut, is a popular drink amongst Happy Hour
place to grab a drink or appetizer if you're waiting for a table. While at the bar, be sure to say hello to the animated and attentive bartenders and ask them about their famous Coconut Martini, which is one of Butera's hand crafted, signature Martini's (below left). The Coconut Martini, which is generously rimmed with crunchy, toasted coconut, is a popular drink amongst Happy Hour patrons.
we were seated their wait staff quickly presented us with a complimentary
"medley" of white bean hummus, chick peas, kidney beans, Bermuda
onions and coos coos with diced
tomatoes, all served with garlic toasted mini ciabiatta bread sticks (above
top of that gratuitous treat they also serve freshly baked, warm garlic knots
and foccacia squares.
For an appetizer we started with the highly recommended Mozzarella Fritta (below left). This mouth-watering starter of lightly battered fresh mozzarella comes all dolled up served "San Danielle" style over a paper-thin layer of Prosciutto. This is a great appetizer for one, or to share over a drink at the bar.
great starter is the Calamari Fritti, which was original in the way it was
dusted with cornmeal rather than thickly coated in heavy breadcrumbs and
deep-fried (above right). This delectable dish is pan fried to order and served with a spicy,
chunky marinara sauce.
On the lighter side, the Grilled Shrimp Salad is an exceptional choice (below left). Within the bountiful portion of mixed greens sits firm, plump shrimp char-grilled to perfection, freshly diced mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, onions and toasted almonds. It is topped with citrus vinaigrette and served with bruschetta points.
Mushroom and Asparagus Salad is another favorite amongst regulars (above right). This salad is
filled with sautéed mushrooms, asparagus and roasted peppers, all served over
a bed of mixed greens. It is drizzled with a light balsamic dressing to complete
the dish. All of the salad choices featured on the menu are very fresh, well
composed and are health conscious alternatives.
While visiting Butera's for lunch we ordered the Grilled Eggplant Focaccia Sandwich (below left). This tasty luncheon item is presented with eggplant, caramelized onions and marinara sauce served open face atop soft, freshly baked focaccia and with your choice of either a side salad or French fries. The perfectly grilled eggplant melts in your mouth, while all the ingredients of the dish blend delightfully together creating a flavorsome treat for your taste buds.
greatly enjoyed the Chicken Meatball Pizza, a popular dish among many (above
right). Served with their signature chicken meatballs, flavorful marinara sauce,
herbed ricotta and mozzarella cheese, this pizza is grilled rather than baked
and releases a subtle charcoal flavor to your palate. It is available two ways;
in classic pizza dough or whole-wheat crust.
When you peruse their dinner menu you will encounter an extensive list of offerings. As a matter of fact they have a mouthwatering array of pasta selections alone. One pasta entree we can confidently recommend is the Penne Eggplant Pasta (below left). You are served an abundance of penne pasta cooked al dente, topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, chunks of eggplant and caramelized onions, all bathed in their signature marinara sauce. As ample as the portion is, the dish is not too heavy and offers a nice ratio of pasta to mozzarella, caramelized onions and eggplant.
For all you steak lovers out there, the Marinated Skirt Steak is undoubtedly the dish for you (above right). Another generously portioned dish, the steak itself is served tender as can be alongside creamy mashed potatoes, which were buttery and smooth. Believe it or not, one of our favorite components of the dish was the soft and sweet whole onion that was served along side the meal.
As far as seafood goes, a dish we trustfully praise is the Sautéed Basa Filet with Shrimp entree (below left). This bountifully portioned dish comes equipped with shiitake mushrooms and fresh tomatoes, coated in a lemon wine sauce, served atop linguine and dusted with almond pangritatta. A unique attribute to this dish is the breadcrumbs added to enhance the crunch and the taste of the fish. Contrary to traditional, contemporary breadcrumbs, the breadcrumbs used in this case are actual pieces of toasted, crumbled bread. The Basa Filet itself is delicately cooked and flakes apart with the touch of your fork. The linguine was served al dente and glistened thoroughly with the perfect balance of lemon and wine sauce.
simple, yet appetizing and satisfying dish we encountered was the Chicken,
Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper entree (above right). The grilled chicken was
very tender and juicy and partnered well with the spinach, roasted peppers,
melted mozzarella cheese, potatoes and string beans.
choosing to dine at Butera's you are rewarded with an attentive, amicable staff,
personable bartenders that will come to know how you take your beverage and a
talented kitchen staff that sends out food that is always fresh, delicious and
quite satisfying. Reasonable in price, easily accessible and consistent in
delivery, Butera's is the kind of place that after you visit once you keep
coming back for more.