One of my favorite books of all time is The Catcher in the Rye, so when I heard there was a new restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh (as of November 2013) calling itself Butcher and the Rye, I was immediately interested. The place does take its name from the book, but rather than be some sort of gimmick, the restaurant is essentially devoted to meat and whiskey. And it’s from the people behind Meat and Potatoes. So, yeah, this was my kind of place and a perfect spot to take my wife for her birthday.
We started out with her favorite, Bone Marrow, because apparently she was raised by wolves. Of course, I’m a big fan of the stuff as well and I was blown away when it arrived. I’m used to small bones, but what Butcher and the Rye brought to us was massive. I’m not sure what kind of bone it was, but my best guess would be dinosaur. Plus, the toast that came with it was topped with BBQ beef (or perhaps oxtail jam according to the menu), which went perfectly with the marrow.
For our second appetizer we had Pig Candy. This was pork belly with apple kimchi, miso caramel and cilantro. Contrary to most pork belly I eat, which is typically just known as bacon, this was a big slab of the stuff and was juicy and delicious. It wasn’t as sweet as something called candy would be expected to be, but it sure went down smooth.
For my main course I went all out and ordered the Wagyu Flank Steak. At only $26 I could hardly pass it up (oh my god Pittsburgh prices are amazing, see yesterday’s review of a $20 burger in NYC for reference). The steak came with fingerling potatoes, sunchokes (which are a particularly violent-sounding tuber), rogue smoked blue cheese butter and black garlic aioli. It was a lot to go with a steak, but I was prepared for the best and found it. Unfortunately, some leafy greens got between me and my steak, but when I brushed these away I was a happy man. It was prepared at a nice medium-rare and truly hit the spot.
We closed out with a Tasting of Goat Cheese for dessert. It came with three tasty cheeses and were a great way to finish the meal.
As expected, Butcher and the Rye was a delicious meal. And while I loved my steak, I think on my next trip I’ll have to try out their special burger. Apparently they have taken the Holeman and Finch route and only produce 25 each night. Sadly, I didn’t know until some people sat at the table next to us and the waitress explained to them, but this was long after I had chosen my steak and have no regrets on that one.