If you’re part of the protein underground rebelling against the “small plate” trend that leaves real people hungry an hour later, Butcher and The Boar grunts your language. This new restaurant in downtown Minneapolis is, as the name implies, unabashedly meaty, all done with the flair of an experienced local chef. The entire look and feel is solid and traditional, with blocky fonts on the menu, furnishings marked by thick slabs of wood and a floor covered with a few hundred thousand pennies. The open kitchen provides a clear view of an enormous wood-burning grill putting the flame to slabs of meat, and the patio includes an outdoor fireplace.
The menu includes, of course, steaks and ribs. But this is far from your grandpa’s charbroiled steakhouse. The menu—seemingly drawing equally from German and Southern influences—includes more exotic choices such as turkey braunschweiger, wild boar hot links and green chile chorizo. For the courageous, there’s head cheese and pickled beef heart. Sides include familiar delights like skillet corn bread, along with surprises like caramelized broccoli and cedar-planked mushrooms. Our desserts were real conversation-starters with other diners when the waiter delivered our bourbon and coke float (served with a classic Coke bottle) and mint-and-chocolate grasshopper pie. Plus, there are 30 craft beers on tap and a selection of 65 bourbons.
Our server was exceptionally informed and proactive, stepping in to clarify when we started ordering an appetizer that sounded deceptively like an entrée. Butcher and The Boar is a hip joint, bringing the noisy conditions and crowded seating endemic to such scenes. Come ready to talk loudly to your companions and to watch that your elbows don’t hit the pile of meat on the next table.
Entrees and two sides start at about $25.