The metrics by which one judges a sushi restaurant might seem nuanced or even arbitrary at best. How much can you do to a piece of uncooked fish? While sushi might not have the bulletproof status of, say, "bad pizza is still good pizza," it is a pretty difficult feat to find a place that really disappoints. Butterfly does one better and presents a stylish and fresh variety of nigiri and maki mono.
Individual pieces like squid, sea bass, or quail egg run for about $2 a piece. Your typical Philadelphia or California rolls will run $5 a pop, or more creative flair like the lobster salad roll, which also includes masago, wasabi mayo, and lettuce, runs for $6. Specials run up to $15 per roll, including treats like the Samurai, with Salmon tempura, avocado, spicy mayo, cucumber topped with seared salmon and lingonberry sauce.
But for every friend who's not willing to dine out on raw fish, the challenge is: What’s the rest of the menu like? A suite of teriyaki dishes ranging from chicken and steak to saba (mackerel) shows they don’t mess around when it comes to the famous flavoring. A selection of curries are also available to appeal to those with a spice-tooth. One of the specials is the banana duck curry – a perfect balance of spicy broth, moist duck, tangy pineapple and peppers, and the occasional sweet squishy bit of banana that has soaked in all of the flavors.
The bright orange panel lights above the tall black-leather-backed booths pair with the votives at the tables, giving a somewhat romantic, somewhat futuristic glow to the place. Yet the sushi bar is high and eye-to-eye with the chefs, and doesn’t suffer from a case of pretense. Whether you’re on your own just looking for some nigiri to make it through the night or taking a date out on West Town, you’ll be comfortable at Butterfly.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Dan Morgridge