Tasting Notes Tuesday – Butcher & Bee Charleston

Tasting Notes Tuesday – Butcher & Bee Charleston

Whipped Feta

Butcher & Bee, which was a sandwich shop for five years prior to opening as a full-service restaurant in its current North Morrison Drive location, is the brainchild of Michael Shemtov. Chef Chelsey Conrad conjures up Israeli-inspired food using seasonal products, sourced locally.

The Drinks and Food

The cocktails menu is limited but each concoction sounded incredible, making it difficult to make a selection. I kicked off the evening with a Strawberry Bourbon Smash – Virgil Kaine high rye bourbon, strawberry, lemon and mint. There are several local beers and wines-by-the-glass. During my meal, I sipped on Thevenet & Fils Chardonnay, a white Burgundy with pear flavors and great acidity and Castellroig Cava Rosat, Trepat, NV, a crisp sparkling rosé with light strawberry flavors. Wine bottles are conveniently clustered by price – $30, $50 and $90.

The ever-changing menu at Butcher & Bee is comprised of mezzes (sharable plates), starters and larger plates. I sampled several dishes and wish I’d been with a group as the menu screams to be shared. The mezzes are served as three for $15, six for $30 or all for $60 (serves two).

I had the Lamb Tartare served with smoked labneh, olive lemon relish and crispy sunchoke; the Whipped Feta with fermented honey, cracked black pepper and pita; the Broccoli & Cheese with grilled Halloumi, anchovy butter, chile and lemon. The lamb tartare was some of the best I’ve had with lightly-gamey flavors combined with great texture from the crispy sunchoke and bright tang from the olive and lemon relish – a must-order. My only criticism is that the sunchoke “chips” are a bit flimsy for the tartare and another vessel could be served to make scooping easier. The whipped Feta was lovely with its light funk paired with sweet local honey on great, charred pita. The broccoli salad was a fun take on the popular soup with big bites of lightly salty, grilled Halloumi cheese and earthy anchovy butter – great dish. I ended my meal with a take on shortcake with a lemon-scented cake served with mini meringues and local strawberries.

 

On a future visit, I’ll order the Kebab Platter with choices or shrimp, lamb, beef, chicken or vegetable and served with Israeli salad, freekeh, tahini and pita – the giant platters that were prepared right in front of me looked outstanding.

In a town full of outstanding restaurants, Butcher & Bee manages to set itself apart with big Israeli-centric flavors created from pristine locally-sourced ingredients.

1085 Morrison Drive, Charleston, SC 29403. (843) 619-0202. Butcher & Bee accepts a limited number of reservations for dinner and is walk-in only for breakfast, lunch and brunch.

Cheers,

Veronique

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