Sunday, January 4, 2015

Butcher's Bistro

Nose-to-tail. A popular concept that is steadily evolving in Denver. My first Denver recollection of this idea probably came via Mark DeNittis with Il Mondo Vecchio. He seemed to be Denver's most popular butcher, so I followed his meat exploits. My next memory would include Old Major. They were all about pig; even dedicating Wednesday to butchering two Durocs near the time I attended. Hint: ask for Table 11 for a good view.

Then at the final Justice League of Street Food party, I talked with Kevin Klinger of Meathead. He was telling me about his butcher shop opening at The Source. Then Western Daughters came on the scene. Locally sourced animals were becoming thing.

Now let's welcome Butcher's Bistro which took over Chef Osaka's Twelve space on Larimer. They came with the promise of nose-to-tail butchering while featuring the products both in the dining area, but also inside a meat counter. And... surprisingly enough, were featuring on Living Social fairly recently. This presented the rare opportunity of trying out an excellent restaurant with a deal.

We arrived to Butcher's Bistro on a snowy night. We were promptly seated after confirming we did not have reservations. They have seating options ranging from 2-6 or at the bar.

Our waiter was super personable, friendly and informative. We discussed the cassoulet (rich, perfect for the weather), the burger (must-have with chicharrones), beards (they allow them at the restaurant, an industry rarity), and more.

My food-loving woman and I decided to try as much as possible, which meant no cocktails or wine. I was certainly tempted by their cocktail menu, especially the one featuring a Chartreuse rinse. We decided on the charcuterie board, the cassoulet and flank steak.
The charcuterie board featured duck rillette, chicken liver pate, mortadella, ham, a beer mustard, a darker mustard, house-pickled cucumbers and bread. The bread was the only item not made in house. My favorite items were the ham and mortadella. The ham was thinly sliced and had a hint of pepper to it. It was such a fantastic shade of pink. The mortadella was thicker than I am used to seeing and possessed a coarse appearance. The pate and rillette were both quite spreadable with the rillette being slightly more dense. The mustards acted as great pairings. The beer mustard was slightly tart while the other mustard had a hint of dark smokiness on the finish. I heartily recommend ordering this board.
Next up was the cassoulet. After deciding that it sounded like a hearty, peasant dish, we decided to order it. It easily met expectations, perhaps even surpassed them. We broke through the bread crumbs and dished up beans, sauce, and different pieces of meat. It was fantastic and we easily finished this dish. This is a great purchase!
Finally, we ordered the dry aged flank steak with black truffle custard, chestnuts, and shaved black truffles. This was the most disappointing item we had. We ordered it medium and the presentation was excellent. However, it was tremendously chewy. Sometimes we enjoyed a darker end that disappeared quickly. The positives were the rare chestnuts, the truffle custard, and the flavoring they added to the steak. 3 bites in, we were debating talking to our waiter because he had been very responsive. However, he had checked in with us after the first bite when we didn't know the chewiness was a repetitive pattern.

Would we go there again? Certainly. Great service, mostly great food, and we were inspired to really talk about the food. Would we order the steak? We would inquire about the steak before ordering. Should you go? Indubitably.

Menu Pictures from January 3, 2015.

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