A few weeks back, Jen and I and our significant others had a dinner date out. It’s always a bit of a conundrum for us to decide upon a dining establishment when we eat out together, as there are just! so! many! restaurants! to choose from. Do we try a NEW place? A tried and true FAVE place? An old standby that never disappoints? It’s always a bit of a process. This time we went with a restaurant that none of us had been to previously- Butcher Block in northeast Minneapolis. None of us had heard much of anything about this restaurant either, other than a few reviews that Jen had read.
The fact that it’s taken us weeks (perhaps even approaching a month now?) to write this review should key our readers in to our thoughts on the restaurant. While it wasn’t a bad experience, it is quite telling that if it took us so long to write a review, we really weren’t that in love with it.
Anne: Hard to put a finger on a good description of the ambiance. Someone used the word “hotel restaurant.” I didn’t really agree because it had some character such as exposed brick and beams, but the decor was a bit blah. Also odd was the small bar area right when you walk in.
Jen: I also felt that it had a bit of an identity crisis going on. In the entrance was the odd bar Anne is referring to with a tattooed cool looking bartender. As you go further into the restaurant, you think it is a little more rustic; a homey Italian place where some older regulars are hanging out and then your waitress shows up who is very nice, but looks like she had just been waitressing at Champps.
Jen: As I mentioned, she was a bit on the ‘bar and grill’ side of waitress, but very pleasant. She gave some recommendations on the menu and was always very attentive.
Jen: I think we all agreed the food was good. Not necessarily fantastic, but enjoyable. I had the grilled pork tenderloin which was served with a white bean and wilted greens salad. The white beans still had a bit of a bite (which I like) and were obviously cooked from scratch and not out of can. I believe both Brette and Pat had the short ribs and enjoyed them.
Anne: Is it also telling that I don’t remember exactly what I had?? Quickly perusing their menu, I’m able to recall that Pat and I shared a salad, which I believe was the beet and arugula salad. Liked it! For my main course I ordered a pasta dish- the Bucatini all’ Amatriciana. It was good, but definitely not the best pasta dish I’ve ever eaten.
Jen: We did opt to skip dessert and head to Sebastian Joe’s instead. This isn’t really a reflection on the food though, it’s just something we always do when we dine out together – go out for ice cream.
In sum: Will we be heading back to Butcher Block anytime soon?
Anne: Probably wouldn’t choose it if I was looking for somewhere to dine out for an evening, but if friends were meeting there or someone else organized a dinner event there, I would go back.
Jen: I’m in no hurry to go back and wouldn’t pick it if it were up to me, but like Anne, would go along if that’s what the group decided.
I’m interested if anyone has been there and what their experience was….anyone?