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Butai - 36 Reviews - 115 E 18th St, New York, NY - Business Dining Reviews - Phone (212) 387-8885

Butai

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115 E 18th St
New York, NY 10003
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(212) 387-8885
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Butai - New York, NY

Reviews

( 18 )
( 9 )
( 1 )
( 0 )
( 8 )

Best

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 ...

Worst

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 ta...

Yummy! 10/28/2009

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! Pros: Food, Decor, Service more

Great place! 3/5/2009

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. Pros: food, ambience, service Cons: not enough people go! more

Decent Food, Terrible Service 2/15/2009

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. Pros: Nice atmosphere Cons: Terrible and inattentive service more

$$$!!! but pretty darn good quality sushi! 2/7/2009

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! Pros: Great sushi! Lots of space to sit, as it's not busy at all! Cons: Go broke for good fish. more

Possibly best sushi I've ever had! 1/1/2009

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! Pros: Great food, great staff, good drinks Cons: a little too dark to read the menu (we used the candle on the table...) haha more

The food is actually pretty good. It's tapas... 3/18/2008

The food is actually pretty good. It's tapas style but not tapas portion as each plate is actually somewhat... more

The food is actually pretty good. It's tapas... 3/18/2008

julicious321 Provided by Partner
The food is actually pretty good. It's tapas style but not tapas portion as each plate is actually somewhat appetizer-sized. That being said, we to... more

Great experience and food 3/2/2008

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. Pros: Robata, sushi, atmosphere, friendly service Cons: busy on friday and saturday nights. reservations are usually needed to get a good table more

Really good food 2/13/2008

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. Pros: Great food! Quiet. Cons: Slightly awkward seating more

romantic Environment,fresh food. 1/11/2008

??,??,?? dark and romantic Environment .Wanted to write to say how I loved the place. and food is fresh ,delicious food, nice people, warm environment.??,??,?? Pros: romantic spot,Location,sushi and Japan grill . more

GO HERE AS A LAST RESORT 11/8/2007

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. Pros: Good food and drinks Cons: Slowest service you'll ever encounter more

Horrible Management 10/6/2007

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. \r 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.\r \r The manager also allows staff to smoke at the entrance.\r \r There's never a need for reservations, this place is always empty- guess why? \r \r 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.\r We ran up a big bill waiting for food that we couldn't enjoy.\r \r 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. Pros: Nice food Cons: Impossible to enjoy food, horrid service, exorbitant costs, surly manager more

Classy, not for kids; don't confuse this place w/ the St. Mark's Place izakayas 10/2/2007

Not cheap, but you will find some good deals in the robatayaki menu. Try the duck. If you're more of a sushi person, this restaurant offers a good sushi menu as well. Nice atmosphere, great for dates, and not too loud. Pros: ambience Cons: a little dark more

Amazing robata grill to accompany outstanding sushi 8/14/2007

I've had excellent dining experiences at Butai. I absolutely love their skewers and their grilled meats. The setting is very relaxed and its perfect for a date or to take a friend out to eat. The service has been great as well with friendly waiters, waitresses and managers and a nice bartender. The bar area is also great for a drink as the setting creates a calm atmosphere. And although Butai is known for the robata grill, their sushi is also of a very high quality and I was very impressed with it. Overall I definitely give Butai 5 stars and highly recommend it to everyone. more

Butai has some really creative dishes including a five ap... 6/17/2007

Butai has some really creative dishes including a five appetizer sampler that comes with it's very own... more

Butai has some really creative dishes including a five ap... 6/17/2007

JaimeBites Provided by Partner
Butai has some really creative dishes including a five appetizer sampler that comes with it's very own alcoholic beverage. The drink, a plum wine s... more

great kushi yaki 3/20/2007

I was walking around the Gramercy Park area last night and I came across Butai. What great deal. Half-price Kushi-yaki on Monday nights is a steal in this neighborhood. I enjoyed it so much I booked a reservation for Friday night because I can not imagine a better first date place. I highly suggest this joint. Pros: the Monday night half-price kushi yaki, the sake, the service more

One of our favorites 3/8/2007

This is not your average Japanese restaurant. One of the reasons it's great is that you can order many small dishes rather than just one entree. The cherry tomatoes are amazing (who knew?), the tsukune (chicken meatballs) are perfect, and the lamb chop is amazing.\r \r The other great thing about Butai is their sake expert. He is patient and helpful and has really changed my opinion on sake. \r \r This is a great date place, but not a great place for groups. Pros: Super yummy, get to try lots of new things Cons: Can be a little expensive (""Oh, I'll just order one more $5 dish ..."" It can add up.) more

Great place for a date 2/15/2007

Last Friday I took someone there for a first date. It was the first time visiting for both of us. This place is perfect those on a date because the portion size allows you to order many items to share. And that enables you be more engaged ya know. Any I recommend it to anyone if you like sushi, Japanese or even grilling. \r \r BTW the food seems to take a little longer than you would expect but all in all I think this place is great. Pros: location, food, more

Walk right past this restaurant... 2/4/2007

We walked by this restaurant and thought the decor was interesting although the tables were empty. We decided to try take out. What a mistake. The portions were tiny and it was the most expensive take out we've ordered in 8 years in Manhattan. As for the food, the grilled skewers were cold, the kalbi was so fatty and tough that we couldn't chew it. The sushi was okay but we've had much better. I would recommend walking right past this restaurant. Pros: good location and decor Cons: bad food more
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Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon. - Thu., Sat. 5am - 11pm;Fri. 5am - 12pm;Sun. 5am - 10:30pm
  • Payments:

    Master Card, Discover, Visa, American Express
  • Neighborhoods:

    Union Square, Midtown, Gramercy Park
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