Between gushing over her favorite dishes and cutting Chopped contestants down to size on television, Food Network personality and chef Alex Guarnaschelli opened the second location of her decade-old restaurant Butter. Starting last week, the restaurant opened in the lower level space of the Cassa Hotel on 45th Street; for now, it's only open for dinner but will begin a breakfast and lunch service in the coming weeks. Like the original Lafayette version of Butter that opened in 2002, the new Midtown outpost offers the familiar "ingredient-driven" menu with buzz words like kale, burrata and bacon part of the rotation.

For our pennies, we'd order the Welsh Rarebit ($14), a creamy, cheesey, beer-y cheddar sauce poured over toasted pullman bread or the Warm Octopus salad ($18) with bacon and charred jalapeno to start. It's hard to pass up hearty ragouts when the mercury dips low, so the Wild Boar ($15) with grits or USQ Market Vegetables ($21) should fit the bill. Lemony branzino and earthy pork chops with mushrooms are good for solo entrees; roasted chicken ($48) or a tomahawk steak ($114) are splurge items for duos.

Though it's an underground space, the new restaurant doesn't share the cavern-like atmosphere of its predecessor. Instead, tall ceilings reach up to enormous ground level windows, which illuminate a spider's web of black leather ropes crisscrossing the ceiling. The design creates a forest canopy effect, heightened by imagery of trees and flowers on the wall and sections of tree stumps, a signature of Guarnaschelli's restaurants. It's a dramatic space—and enormous! There's seating for 175 inside plus another 20 in the private dining room; the outside garden has room for 60 more, weather-permitting.

70 West 45th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, (212) 253-2828; Open seven days a week for dinner 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday with breakfast and lunch coming soon.

Butter Menu