One great perk of being a frequent traveler is having the opportunity to dine at amazing restaurants. While making the trek to Minneapolis to my company’s headquarters in the winter isn’t exactly optimal, it recently allowed me to discover one of my favorite restaurants of 2013 – Butcher & the Boar.
Co-owner and Chef Jack Riebel earned himself a semi-finalist nod in the 2013 James Beard Award “Best New Restaurants” category and after visiting, I can see why. The space is a mix of chic and barn and features a bustling open kitchen emitting intoxicating grilled meat aromas.
The menu is meat-filled and makes it difficult for one to decide what to select. The food is described as “Seasonal, Regional, American” and is showcased on the menu in straight-forward categories like “Sausages”, “Meats”, “Waters”, “Snacks, etc. My guest and I knew by watching the grilling station cook flipping sausages that we’d need to try a sausage dish. We shared the Green Chorizo ($12.00) as a starter. The ultra-moist sausage is served with roasted pumpkin, black bean mole, cumin crème fraiche and Cotija cheese. The dish was a clear winner that brought a smile to my face as I enjoyed it with a Surly Furious IPA from nearby Brooklyn Center, MN (check out the stellar craft beer list).
Realizing I wasn’t done with sausage, I opted for the Duck Breast ($38.00) for my entrée. The perfectly-cooked duck is paired with a duck and foie gras sausage, celery and apple butter – simply divine. My guest selected the Double Cut Berkshire Pork Chop ($33.00) which was easily enough for two diners and served with cranberry relish and a pecan gremolata. The pork, while thick and stuffed which can often time be tricky to cook, managed to be a gorgeous pale pink in the center with deep pork flavor.
We didn’t save room for dessert, but on my next visit, I’ll be splurging on a Whiskey & Coke Float with Jim Bean caramel ice cream, Mexican Coca Cola and an oatmeal tuile.
My trips and perhaps the city of Minneapolis won’t be the same after a visit to Butcher & the Boar. The place has made my top five list of best meals in 2013.
1121 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403. 612.238.8888.