Butera’s of Smithtown is definitely a “family affair” started by two brothers Marty and Gary, along with lots of love and culinary passion. The Butera family’s culinary journey began in Massapequa, and grew to include Seaford, Sayville, Woodbury and Smithtown. Marty and Gary got their cooking “chops” working with their parents in the family pizza restaurant. The brothers partnered in their own venture, after Marty finished his college education.Their own upscale italian restaurant the realization a life long dream for the brothers. Marty and Gary along with Marty’s wife Laurie, and Nick (a friend, partner, and fellow chef) painstakingly built and decorated each of their restaurants.
We visited the Butera restaurant in Smithtown and were immediately attracted to the charming homelike exterior of the restaurant. Bright, well lit, with an attractive frontage on the street standing out from its neighboring buildings. The interior of Butera’s is warm,sophisticated, and reminiscent of some of the fine Italian restaurants we had dined at on our european vacations… Soothing soft toned walls, wood floors, , antique lamps and sconces, pictures and photos and comfortable table seating. Martin, in his chef’s jacket and and red bandana, proved to be a charming, highly articulate owner/spokesperson. We had a fascinating discussion about the business, and his family’s passion for fine basic Italian food. The Butera’s restaurant success story was built with the family’s old world recipes handed down from generation to generation. Marty, his brother Gary, Marty’s wife Laurie, and Nick, are 24/7 involved business people who devote their time and attention to serving delicious food and providing great service and ambiance.
With Marty’s guidance, and the skillful serving skills of our waitress Judy,we decided to try a sampling of some of Butera’s family recipes.
Judy initially served us italian white bean “hummus” with warm cheese sticks for dipping on a sparkling white china plate. She was upbeat, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about her love for the restaurant while keeping the food, drinks and dishes flowing at a leisurely pace.
For appetizers we tried:
Mozzarella Fritta– fresh mozzarella golden fried over a bed of prosciutto “San Danielle” style garnished with mixed greens and fresh tomato. Beautifully presented on white china and a meal in itself. This was follwed by Mushroom and Asparagus salad- Sauteed mushrooms golden brown served with cut up asparagus with roasted peppers and mixed greens. A very generous portion made with a simple Butera salad dressing of olive oil and vinegar. We sampled Buttera’s renowned chicken meatballs, which were small, incredibly tasty and probably the best meatballs we had eaten this year. These meatballs are oven baked, placed in a refrigerator and then prior to serving, finished off with a few minutes of pan preparation in olive oil on top of the stove. They were served with Rigatoni Broccoli Rabe over fresh tomatos and cannelini beans in garlic and oil. Simply the best!
We were now ready for two wonderful entrees:
Bronzini Filet & Grilled Shrimp Risotto- Seared White Bronzini and grilled shrimp over a lentil, bacon soffrito vegetable risotto, topped with crispy parsnip. Beautifully presented with the shrimp grilled to perfection.
Chicken Marsala-Sauteed Chicken Breasts with mushroom in a Marsala wine sauce. Large White filets in a superb marsala sauce.
Judy and Marty suggested we try a trio of amazing desserts:
A Brownie Sunday with a creamy vanilla ice cream topping,
An Apple Crostada, that Mom would have been proud to serve also topped with creamy white vanilla ice cream with a crust that melted in your mouth.
A Chocolate Chip pie filled with large melted chocolate chips.
We finished our meal with tea and coffee, knowing that we had just experienced a truly exceptional italian meal!
Kudos to Martin, Gary, Lori and Nick for their exceptional food, service and ambiance. Highly recommended and definitely worth the trip.
Butera’s 65 East Main Street, Smithtown, N.Y tel: 631-979-9113, www. buteras.com