The hype for Butcher & the Boar has been unreal. And guess what? The food is pretty unreal too.
When my wife and I walked in the first time I said, “This place smells like man. And meat.” It’s a manly, manly restaurant, with an incredible selection of bourbon and beer (30 taps!).
Chef Jack Riebel is the top chef, Peter Botcher is the sous chef (or the butcher. Get it? Botcher, butcher? Ok, I’ll stop now.), and the GM is Ashlee Blaseg-West, formerly of Bar La Grassa.
This team had a lot of time to figure out how they were going to make their sausages and what was going to go into their sides, and they took advantage of it.
I love the house pickle plate: $5 gets you a nicely done, non-fussy plate of pickled vegetables. Add $2 and you get a little sausage and a pickled egg. This is $7 well spent. I’ve had it twice.
The meat is killer: The venison summer sausage ($10 served with cheese and crackers) is the kind of meat I wish I could get at my local butcher.
The sausage is fantastic: Don’t miss the wild boar hot link that bursts with flavor, or the “101” bourbon sausage (shown above). The bourbon sausage felt more like a complete meal—served with fresno peppers, greens, and a fried egg for $12. The hot link had a really nice zatarain mustard and pickled vegetables (my only real nit about this place—I was bummed to see the same pickled veggies that I just had in the pickle plate appetizer on the side of my sausage).
The sides are exquisite: The smothered greens ($7) are the best greens I’ve ever had—and the furthest from healthy you could imagine, smothered in fatty goodness, chilis, and pork. The buttermilk mash ($6) was a nicely done potato dish, and although I haven’t tried them, a Southern friend of mine says the Cheesy White Corn Grits are the best grits she’s had in Minnesota.
The bourbon is fun too: I really liked my Small Batch Bourbon flight ($13) with Buffalo trace, Baker’s 7 year, and Kentucky Vintage. The flights are ¾ ounce tastings—my wife and I shared it… but it’s not so much that it would incapacitate you for the night.
Butcher & the Boar has a menu that’s designed to be shared—I can’t wait to get back and try the meats for two (the prospect of the smoked beef long rib has me internally yelling “yabba-dabba-do”).
Often the most hyped restaurants almost certainly disappoint. At least thus far, the Butcher & the Boar delivers.
Butcher & the Boar
1121 Hennepin Ave, Mpls.