10 February 2014

A carnivore’s delight at Butcher & The Boar, Mpls.

I don’t really have a good excuse for not trying Butcher & The Boar sooner. It’s been highly acclaimed since it opened, and I’ve been curious. Finally, after an evening out with some friends, we expressed mutual interest in trying it. That was fine, but then came the challenge of finding a weekend that worked for all of us, and when we could get a reservation. The place is popular. Hopping busy. It wasn’t easy getting a reservation. We finally picked a date 6 weeks out, and that worked.

You could say it was worth the wait. I’d say, “I wish we’d gotten there sooner.”

As you’d expect, the menu is very ‘meat centric.’ Having said that, I noted that they do have a ‘Waters’ section of the menu with fish and seafood. Several of the fish and seafood items looked interesting, and I considered ordering the barbecued octopus. But in the end, we stuck to meat.ButcherBoar

All of the publicity about Butcher & The Boar mention the smoked beef rib. It’s huge, and it’s expensive. We decided we could split it among us. We also ordered a skirt steak to share. Both were excellent. The beef rib was moist and meaty and had a tremendous Tabasco-molasses barbecue sauce. It had plenty of heat, but was not overwhelming. My wife, who does like overly spicy food, thought the beef rib was great. I thought so too, but I found the steak to be particularly appealing. It was served on a platter cut into slices with roasted peppers. I thought it was great.

We ordered several side dishes to go along with the meat – mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. All of them were good. My wife was disappointed by the mushrooms; she said they didn’t have any distinctive flavor. But I liked them – they tasted like mushrooms. We all liked the roasted sweet potatoes, and the broccoli also was very good.

As a group, we’re not big eaters, so splitting two entrees and a bunch of sides worked well for us. But the entrées are generally not huge (except for the beef rib). So I think most people likely would order their own entrée. Another friend, who’s a fan of Butcher & The Boar, recommended starting with some of the sausages on the menu. No one in our group particularly wanted them, so we didn’t. In retrospect, I kind of wish we had, or at least we should have ordered another side dish.

We did split an order of S’Mores for dessert. They were ok. I certainly didn’t need dessert, but I probably would have preferred the pistachio tart that’s on the menu. I had an espresso that was very good and a nice way to finish the meal.

Besides meat, Butcher & The Boar is noted for it’s extensive beer selection and bourbon. Our friend had a beer. Linda and I had cocktails. Hers was called Brainstorm – a special house exclusive bourbon with Benedictine and dry vermouth. It was excellent. I had an outstanding Sazerac cocktail; classically mixed, nothing fancy, but really great flavor. The restaurant offers bourbon flights as well, and that might be fun someday.

Just a couple of other comments – the restaurant has a parking lot, but it’s reserved for valet parking. I found street parking about four blocks away. As I said, we had a reservation, and we were seated as soon as we arrived. But at first we were shown to a table in the bar. When the group objected, they gave us a table in the dining room. The décor and ambiance is very pleasant – dark and woody. It’s not a dressy place by any means. I saw many patrons wearing blue jeans. And it’s quite loud. You can see by the photo that we did not have a large table, but I had trouble hearing our friends across the table during dinner.

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