115 E 18th St, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.736815 -73.987641
Mon. - Thu., Sat. 5am - 11pm;Fri. 5am - 12pm;Sun. 5am - 10:30pm
Neighborhoods: Union Square, Midtown, Gramercy Park
Yummy! – The food is so yummy here and the lycee martini, I love! I also love the fact that they remember your name when you come back second time. Nice decor, especially upstairs. You just have to try!
Great place! – Wow I had such a different VDay experience! Yes, there were a lot of people there on Valentine's Day, but I thought the service was excellent. The waitress would come and say "thanks for waiting!" when we literally waited for like 5 minutes for each meal she brought out. I went back again last night, and the food once again did not disappoint. The sushi rolls were amazing, and the grilled meat was apparently amazing as well (I dont eat meat so I didn't have any but my friends CLEANED IT UP). DEFINITELY GO HERE!! For some reason I feel like not many people know about this place, but it is actually quite good. And it's not overly expensive either.
Decent Food, Terrible Service – Well, it was Valentine's, so probably a bit busier than a usual night, but seriously. We sat and our order was taken right away. We ordered an appetizer, a few sushi rolls, a tapas sized filet, and some very small skewers. The appetizer came shortly after, and was good... but then the service stopped. Sushi came 45 minutes later, and we were asked if we wanted anything else. How about the rest of the food we ordered, and the drink menu? Our waiter apologized, and came back another 45 minutes later to give us our filet - we never got the drink menu, so he brought it. I asked which sake would be good hot, so we took his bottle suggestion. He came back 15 min later with an ice cold bottle, telling us it's better cold, apparently forgetting he just suggested it to us as one that would be good hot. He did go back and heat it up, then brought our next dish. It was okay, but a little cold, probably because it had been ready for 20 minutes. We still had two tiny plates of skewers coming, and decided to wait it out, because we'd already been there for 2 1/2 hrs...what's a few more minutes. Well, the final 2 bites of our food came yet another 30 minutes later, and was fine. The service made the food irrelevant, though. Many tables came after us, ate more than us, and left well before us...a very frustrating dining experience, to say the least.
$$$!!! but pretty darn good quality sushi! – I read all of the reviews before going in, but should have actually *looked* at the prices before ordering. I got a miso soup, 3 yellowtail rolls, an eel avocado roll, and 2 salmon avocado rolls, and finally a piece of toro sushi. My check? $55! That would have been between $10-15 less expensive somewhere else. $8 for an eel roll? But I have to tell you... that was some of the best eel I've ever had. Very good salmon. For the price of the yellowtail though, they should dice it up before rolling it. The place is very dark and swanky, but I was just doing take-out. It was good sushi, very good. But I wouldn't do it again at Butai, not unless I was around there and I wanted a nice, dark atmosphere, at a place that's dead quiet at dinner time on a Saturday night!
Possibly best sushi I've ever had! – My boyfriend & I went here on New Years Eve for a nice romantic dinner before going out for the night. We had such an amazing time. First of all we messed up our reservation time & got there almost an hour early but the hostess barely even blinked at the mistake and sat us right away anyway! From the moment we sat down the entire wait staff was extremely attentive & helpful! They made great cocktail and sake recommendations and gave us pleanty of time to read through the menu. I highly recommend the Butai Wild Orchid martini. As for the food, this was some of the best sushi I have ever had & this is coming from someone who eats sushi on a weekly basis. It was extremely fresh and flavorful. And their plating was lovely. Based off the reviews here we also got the robato or japanese grilled lamb chops. We went for the tapas dish just in case we didn't like it. But they were fantastic...what a treat! I definitely recommend trying it. Definitely check out Butai...we had such an incredible time & will definitely be back!
Great experience and food – I've been a regular at Butai for some time and it has always been an amazing blend of food, service and atmosphere. The robata dishes are excellent. I'd recommend the lamb chops as well as the short ribs. As for the sushi it is just as excellent as the robata with the special rolls being my favorite. The atmosphere is great for either a business meeting for clients or a romantic date. I recommend it enthusiastically for anyone looking for a great dinner and experience.
Really good food – The food was really good. The menu selection reminded me of Gyukaku, tho the food gets prepared in the kitchen. I didn't try the sushi so I have no opinion there, but all their robata selection was excellent and made for a good date. Dessert could use some improvement, but I was full by then, so it didn't really matter. Staff was courteous. There's still a feeling of newness, with mild confusion about reservations and seating, and staff's role, but the food outshone all of that.
romantic Environment,fresh food. – ??,??,?? dark and romantic Environment .Wanted to write to say how I loved the place. and food is fresh ,delicious food, nice people, warm environment.??,??,??
GO HERE AS A LAST RESORT – The food and drinks were good, but what should have been a quick meal took an hour and a half. The first round of drinks didn't arrive until after the appetizer. My husband's entree arrived about 10 minutes before mine, and my second drink didn't arrive until I had finished my entree. In short, nothing lined up. The restaurant was not in the least crowded. To top it off, I got an email from Open Table saying Butai had marked me as a no-show. Amazing how you can get such horrible service in Manhattan.
Horrible Management – I'm a neighbor, almost a regular since Butai opened. The service was always bad, the prices were always astronomical and the food was always good- but the last time I went to Butai the management was so awful it ruined the meal.
Shortest form: the manager cranked up the music during our meal- with only us and another couple in the room upstairs so loud we could not speak to each other and when we politely asked him to return it to the level it had been for the hours we had been talking while waiting for food, he was rude- in addition to leaving it loud.
The manager also allows staff to smoke at the entrance.
There's never a need for reservations, this place is always empty- guess why?
This is Union Square, it's not the price- its the suffering and punishment factor from management that is surly and incompetent- and apparently the owner likes it this way. I phoned and faxed messages to the owner, Theresa Hwa, and never got a response.
We ran up a big bill waiting for food that we couldn't enjoy.
There's so many fabulous restaurants in Union Square- give this one a pass in favor of one that serves food with a good attitude.
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