Nestled within a quaint side street amid Boston’s South End is The Butcher Shop, a chic French-Italian wine bar and butchery created by the renowned resident restaurateur, Barbara Lynch. Perhaps one of the area’s best-kept secrets, this spot is ideal for meat lovers and their non-vegetarian friends, since slabs of muscular meats proudly hang in an open fridge, both awaiting the brave to claim on their way home and teasing the voracious patrons, as if the meaty aroma weren’t enough. The wait staff generates a pleasant experience—they are friendly and know unerringly what the patrons need when they need it, but also make sure not to rush the diners when they linger, allowing guests time to enjoy the serene sidewalk scene alongside the casual, yet sophisticated atmosphere.
The minimalistic style created by the omnipresent chalkboard, upon which the menu is updated on a nightly basis, gives the room an elegant atmosphere merged with a neighborhood kitchen feel. Although there are limited tables, the bar and standing space surrounding a sizable kitchen island, or “butcher block,” encourage spontaneous conversation over a glass of red wine and a crave-worthy choice from the charcuterie—a generous array of fresh antipasti, imported pates, and terrines, which include duck liver mousse and rillettes du jour served alongside complimenting accoutrements.
“College students in Boston present us with a great opportunity to get to know a new set of guests,” said Michele Carter, chef de cuisine at The Butcher Shop. “They bring a diverse perspective on what food and dining means to them and help us shape the way that food culture evolves in Boston.”
There is no question that the students bustling about the city would find it enjoyable to discover this unique spot in their own backyard, where they could taste a previously unheard of cheese.
The Butcher Shop might not be within a college student’s everyday budget, but the trendy ambiance is nonetheless ideal for a wine night with some girlfriends, a date night, or a go-to spot when one’s parents come to town.
From the impressive wine list to the gourmet menu, each successive course is tastier than the last.
Carter recommends that the adventurous try the beef heart pastrami with fried oysters and arugala. Similarly, she believes that students have much to gain from the restaurant’s cuisine as well. “There’s no better way to be introduced to a city and a region than through the eyes of its chefs and restaurants, and we pride ourselves on highlighting the best that Boston has to offer,” she said.
From the farm-to-table freshness to the modest, yet haute decorations, The Butcher Shop leaves little to be desired.
Featured Image Courtesy of Susie Cushner