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Butterfish in West Chester

I JUST noticed this place on Rt. 52 just outside West Chester Boro. Has anyone been here yet? Did you eat in or take out? Your thoughts?

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  1. I've heard 3rd hand from people who have been there and they give it high marks. White tablecloths and candlelight...BYO (I think). Located on Route 52 in the teeny shopping center where the short-lived Backroads Country Market used to be. (There's a Happy Harry's there, also.) However I have not been there and would love to hear directly from someone who actually has!

    1 Reply
    1. re: pylisfjohnson

      The brunch and lunch menu look alot like the Classic Diner in Frazer (which is a good thing). The dinner menu looks really interesting too.


    2. Thanks for the link, JTN. The Butterfish menu does look yummy. I'll report back as soon as I've actually eaten there. BTW, did you know that Classic Diner is owned by Frank Farrell, brother to Nick Farrell of Sovana Bistro fame in Unionville? Too bad Classic Diner isn't open for dinner, too!

      1. I have been to Butterfish and thought it was great. The menu was original (lots of smoked fish appetizers), the food was delicious, and the service was excellent. If you are not a seafood lover, I saw a beautiful rack of lamb go by and one of the specials was a steak.I have reservations this weekend.

        1. Smoked fish selection is awesome! I liked dining there, although the staff seemed to still be training. Here are some thoughts from a take out point of view...


          1. Ate lunch here and was very impressed although the service was a little slow and the room quite noisy. The Texas style brisket sandwich was good, served with cole slaw and an excellent small salad with fresh strawberries, orange slice and pineapple. The smoked trout sandwich was very good, and the salad with smoked salmon excellent (served with asparagus cooked exactly right.) They smoke their fish on the premises and it is very good. It is a BYOB. Highly recommended!

            1 Reply
            1. re: carl555

              My wife and I went in the summer and liked it very much. Definitely liked the smoked fish. Did not try the eponymous butterfish, however. Good value.


            2. LOVE this place! We've been there many times for Sunday Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. Their signature dish, the butterfish is to die for!! Try it once and you'll have a hard time selecting anything else. That along with the smoked fish appetizers & their fabulous home made desserts keep us coming back. Sunday Brunch has wonderful eggs benedict, made to order omelettes, (love the smoked bacon) whole grain toast, & yummy potatoes and the carmelized banana pancakes are SO GOOD! I've only eaten lunch a couple of times but the roasted turkey panini was excellent. If you're looking for an intimate, romantic dinner the environment is a bit informal but that's the only negative I can come up with. HIGHLY Recommended!

              1. My girlfriend 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 warmly. Where the restaurant fell short was the food. All total, they were out of 5 things we ordered. This was a monday evening, I would think that everything would be fresh and ready to go 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 3 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 the chef has to crust all the fish on the menu 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... which helps explain his good nature. He was very embarrased and apoligized about 10 times.

                1. I've not been but have neighbors who reported a weird experience:
                  Entee A came with french fries, entree B with mashed. Wife (plate B) wanted mashed, hubby (plate A) wanted frenchies. They asked if the switch could be made in the kitchen rather than doing it themselves at the table (a reasonable request, I think). Server frowned and said he/she would check. The answer came back "NO". I've heard of petulant chefs but????

                  1. I hadn't been to Butterfish in several months, and had been hearing bad things about it -- quirky service, many instances of "we're out of that" even at the beginning of the dinner hour, etc. But a friend wanted to meet there for lunch today, so we went.

                    We arrived at 11:30 -- we were the only people in there for the first few minutes, then a few other tables filled up. The first thing the waiter told us was that...there was NO CHICKEN today. Nothing on the menu with chicken could be had. I laughed nervously and said I hoped I could find something to eat, because I don't eat red meat and I'm allergic to shellfish. The waiter said "We have a lot of other stuff" but didn't try to help any further. So, he went away. We kept asking about the specials, and he kept putting us off, saying they weren't in the computer yet. He did bring us drinks. Finally, at least twenty minutes after we arrived they had specials to show us. It was now nearly noon; so much for missing the lunch rush!

                    The waiter had come over with another waiter -- I'm not sure why. But we proceeded to order, and my friend stated her choice: the portobello mushroom salad. The spare waiter interjected at that point that they "wouldn't have any portobello mushrooms for about another twenty minutes." So we'd already waited a long time to even _hear_ the specials, they were completely out of chicken (and really, what restaurant short of Outback could even _open_ without any chicken??), and when we finally chose something...they were out of it again! At the very beginning of the day! Obviously, someone needs to arrive there earlier in the day and supervise deliveries.

                    My friend decided to wait for the portobello, so we placed our orders. I ordered the smoked salmon salad and asked a lot of pointed questions about the dressing (I have food allergies, too). When he told me about it, I asked if he could please bring it on the side. No problem, says he. I also said that since we'd be waiting a long time because of the portobello, could he please bring bread -- both my friend and I are diabetic, and since we'd planned to eat early, both of us were kind of fading at that point. Sure, he said.

                    Bread didn't arrive for ten minutes. He dropped the basket with butter, but I had to stop him: "Can I please have a bread plate or something?" Where did he think I was going to butter the bread -- in the air? And put it...on the table? (No white tablecloths, incidentally -- just wood.)

                    Got the bread plate. Finally got the main courses. Noticed there was no dressing, so I asked the spare waiter to bring it. She said, "The dressing is on it already." So they couldn't even handle that simple request. She offered to take it back and have it redone, but we were already an hour into what would turn out to be a TWO HOUR lunch, so I said, "Just forget it." The food was very good, but it was so arduous just to _get_ to that point in the meal, that it ruined the experience quite a bit.

                    Dessert was the high point of the meal: they were delicious, beautifully plated, and came out at a reasonable time. The only weird thing about the later part of the meal is that they kept taking my dishes away while my friend was still eating (call me a nitpicker, but I think that's a no-no), and they twice removed my coffee spoon with my other plates (first the entree, then the dessert) while I was still drinking it, requiring me to stop them in mid-clear and ask for my spoon back.

                    Since I've heard this nonsense with the menu (being out of foods) has been going on for some time, and based on my experience today, I don't know how they're still in business! Frankly, I was a little surprised that after all the problems, no one came by to apologize, or offer a 10% reduction in the bill, or to comp us on dessert, or _anything_ like that.