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“Unpretentious Italian Charcuterie Offers Great Food in NE Mpls”
Review of The Butcher Block Restaurant - CLOSED

The Butcher Block Restaurant
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: University
Description: Welcome to the Butcher Block, where meat is our passion; organic, grass-fed, and sustainable are our principles; and serving great-tasting food – with or without meat – is our priority.We’re inspired by the cozy neighborhood trattorias you find in Rome and throughout Italy, but we're located right here in Northeast Minneapolis.We chose the name "Butcher Block" in honor of Filippo Caffari, our butcher, who was a skilled master-butcher in Rome for almost two decades, before moving to Minneapolis to become head chef at I Nonni in Mendota Heights. Chef Caffari is one of the finest Italian chefs in the Twin Cities.To accompany our remarkable Italian meals, we offer an extensive Italian and international wine list, as well as many fine domestic wines and beers. Our goal is to fuse the best of Italian culinary skills with the freshest ingredients, so you can experience authentic Italian dining.The only passport required is your love of great Italian food.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

If you're weary of those fake Tuscan villa sort of corporate restaurants, get thee over to NE Minneapolis and found out what real Italian cooking is about. Even on New Year's Eve when the place was packed, the service was prompt and the food delicious. This was my 4th visit to the Butcher Block and I've never been disappointed. I usually have the lamb chops, but BIL and I went for the veal picata - perfect - will have that again. We tried 3 different salads and my bet is on the radicchio and pear with balsamic, athough the Caesar was good and friends said the mixed greens were also excellent - bit over-dressed, but better than under. Dear husband loves his steaks and is hopelessly a most unadventuresome carnivore, so he was delighted yet again with his NY strip. For $25 he got a seriously nice hunk of meat at about half the price of a tony chop house. My sister had the chicken marsala and that, too, was very good - though the veal superior.
Our friends said the pasta was good, but one didn't care for the meatballs. Pasta should be ordered as a second course here - go for the meats. Wine prices are good - nice bottle of red for $23 - great bread basket.

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Thank Phoenix663
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (142)
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129 - 133 of 142 reviews

Reviewed December 3, 2011

First of all, I am italian, so I know quite a bit about italian food and restaurants. The Butcher Block is one of the few italian restaurants outside Italy that really deserve a visit. This means that american people will hardly find what they believe to be italian (no Alfredo sauce here, sorry), but this also means that this is a real italian experience (and everything in the menu is great)! Just go open minded, and try one of the best "bucatini all'amatriciana" outside Rome!!!
By the way, the staff is super-friendly, the wine list has some of the best italian wines, as it should be with such good food, and leave some room for the dessert!!!

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Thank Roberto P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

My friends and I did a Chef's Table event with Filipo. It was absolutely divine! We had carpaccio, beet salad, linguini with mussels, braised short ribs and a warm chocolate cake. They accomodated our vegetarian friend quite nicely, too. I highly recommend this place and plan on going back myself!

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Thank MNKristen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2011

Having gone to a couple of wine tastings here, I got a sampling of their menu a couple of years ago. I have been back many times ever since.

I am Italian, and I am very picky about how Italian food is prepared. There are cardinal rules that restaurants break all the time, like putting parmesan on top of shrimp or some other atrocity.

But I love this place. It has a great wine list, especially in that many of the bottles are very affordable, at $23 or less (although there are also some which cost more). Many of the wines are only a few dollars higher than the price it's sold for across the street at Surdyk's -- not triple the price, as in many restaurants.

The braised shortribs and the octopus appetizer are what gave me a crush on this place the first time. But I keep returning to try other items on the menu, and am constantly finding new favorites. I have gotten into the habit of asking Filippo, the owner, or his daughter, Jenny, for their recommendations. I have had many winners.

Now I return there nearly each Wednesday night, after my book club meeting. I love when Filippo and Jenny have a moment to visit, and if I am there late enough, they will take time to pull up a chair and chat. It feels like going to the trattorie in my family's town. Many restaurants have attempted this hybrid of great food/european bistro/neighborhood warmth, but very few pull off the whole package. Butcher Block has done it well.

It would be remiss not to mention that Filippo is first a butcher, then a chef. All meats and seafood are expertly cut. The beef is grass-fed. The meal is a thing of beauty before it even gets to the stove or oven!

I will continue to be there every Wednesday possible, and weekend dining dates as well.

Grazie per un posto meraviglioso, Filippo!

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Thank 2RomeSoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Whenever I feel I am in the mood to enjoy a great and genuine Italian meal, which is quite often (since I am italian and VERY picky with food), I just go the the Butcher Block, where I always feel welcome in an inviting and pleasant atmosphere. I go by myself, with friends, with my work colleagues, and the experience is ALWAYS great! it is like family, on which you can rely in any occasion.
The classical Bucatini all'amatriciana are un-missable, better than in Rome itself! The octopus is absolutely fantastic. Short-ribs are also among my favorite choices. In all Twin Cities you cannot find anything even close to those meals.
Filippo is a fabulous host. Always caring, professional, knowledgeable, helpful, warm and fun. I just love to hear from him about food! I would recommend to anyone to go to the Butcher Block, and before making your choices on the menu, just enjoy to ask the opinion of Filippo!

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Thank chipu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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