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Butcher Block

FINALLY.  We had the whole group together for a dinner on Tuesday night. The 6 of us went to the Butcher Block in NE Minneapolis.


Formerly Fugaise, nothing much has changed on the inside. Cozy and comfy just like I remembered with the same quaint little 3 person bar in the front. The bartender was incredibly friendly and gave us a lot of info on the place. The chef is Filippo Caffari who was a butcher in Rome for years (he cuts up his own meat downstairs!). If you are familiar with I Nonni in Lillydale, he and Darin Koch were both chefs there before moving to NE Minneapolis. You can see definite similarities in the menus (the crostini in particular). We started with cocktails and wine. For apps we had the carpaccio and a variety of the crostini. They were all good, however, we ordered a second plate of the Tuscan Chicken Liver so what does that tell you? Becky and Jill both had salads which they shared with us. One of my biggest pet peeves of any restaurant is a flavorless vinaigrette and I was so pleasantly surprised! Bursting with bright flavors yet light and not overpowering, it is what I long for in a salad. And I think there were some little sweet potato gems floating around in that salad too which the girls seemed to like, though I didn’t try one. For entrees… Braised Short Ribs, Ravioli, Chicken Marsala and Pork Ragu. I’ll let the ladies talk about their experiences but I can say everyone at the table was happy and raving about their meal. I was in the mood for pasta so the Pork Ragu hit the spot. It’s like the best spaghetti you’ve ever had - times 10. I loved it and ate every bite. Filippo came out and chatted with us. He is a lovely character and very charming. Dessert… Chocolate torte with caramel, sea salt & olive oil. Just lovely. Thanks, Butcher Block – had a great time – the night went far too fast. We’ll see you again real soon.

Things to note: the menu on line is not quite the same as the current menu at the restaurant. Along with this main menu they also have a menu of daily specials. They are no longer open until 4am. Too much riff raff attracted at that late hour. But they are open until 2am for you semi normal riff raffians.


Butcher Block

Yes, glad we were all back together.

Jill and I split a bottle of Malbec. We were surprised it had a price tag of only $15! And it was pretty darn good. I was certain it was $15 per glass. Nope.
I don't believe I have ever had a decent bottle of wine in a restaurant for that price. Good work Butcher Block!

The appetizers were lovely and though I am not a fan of anything from the liver family, the Tuscan Chicken Liver on crostini was marvelous. I would certainly order that again.

The salad special was lovely - Sweet potato pieces, blueberries, pine nuts, greens with a lovely vinaigrette and topped with shaved parmesan cheese.
I admire chefs so much. Sweet potatoes and blueberries in a salad?

I had the lamb, cheese and mint ravioli. It was spectacular! Though, when it was placed in front of me, I was concerned about the abundance of broth that those pasta pillows were floating in.
Ravioli in broth? What in the hell have I just ordered?! Was the pasta (homemade, of course) going to get soggy?
Then, I took a bite. Delicious. But, isn't it gonna get soggy?!
They didn't. That broth had a delicate flavor and slowly soaked into the pasta and by the time I had the last bite, there were only a few drops remaining.
I highly recommend this dish, though we were told the menu changes monthly.

Order the fries. Spicy with just a teeny eenie bit of sweet. Cinnamon on fries? Hey, don't knock it till you try it. Fantastic!

The chocolate torte was very nice, though I would have loved a bit more carmel and sea salt.



Butcher Block is the type of restaurant I love: small but cozy, great bartender, unexpected yet delicious food pairings, affordable prices. (I'm jobless and on a budget these days, so that really helps.) Fun conversation, as usual with this group of girls. (oh, how I missed them!) Like Becky, I was leery of the broth in the ravioli but I'm gonna mix countries and say ooo-la-la! The apps were awesome and the dessert -- well, who doesn't like chocolate, caramel and sea salt? Thanks for a great evening, Butcher Block!