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“never forget”

The Butcher Block Restaurant
Ranked #176 of 1,822 Restaurants in Minneapolis
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 March 23, 2014

I never had so good tipycal italian/roman food so far from Italy. Chef Filippo has offer me an unforgettable dinner and a really familiar time. Thank you ...

Thank valerioplacidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (142)
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82 - 86 of 142 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2014

A restaurant offering a 'Tasting Menu' has the opportunity for their chef to showcase his or her talents and demonstrate what makes the restaurant a respected culinary destination. This is not the case at The Butcher Block.

The first course was some sort of shredded beef on a single small crostini. The slimy beef had all the flavor of dishwater. The salad course offered more promise as it was fresh and crisp; though so small, it was served on a bread and butter plate.

The pasta course lacked inspiration and flavors, as well. A very small cereal bowl with no more than one cup of cooked spaghetti, eight thumbnail sized clams and a tasteless jus. The signature dish was a very lemony sautéed Dover Sole, the size of a chicken finger but only half as thick, served over a rustic mound of mashed potatoes and accompanied with a few tasty sautéed mushrooms.

Having had tasting menus at many restaurants, this restaurant comes in dead last when viewed from quality and a price-value perspective. This restaurant's 'tasting menu' is comprised of small 'samples' and not 'courses' as represented. Not even the poor 'Wonder Bread' textured Italian bread could save this dining experience.

While a tasting menu should be designed to offer more variety via smaller portions, the collective quantity of food served should not be less than what one receives from a single entree. Diners will be far better off ordering two regular menu courses than the Tasting Menu; and by doing this, a diner will actually save money and unlikely leave hungry.

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1  Thank TraveljohnsonJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

We like to purchase discount coupons to try new restaurants. This was a great time. We talked to ladies at the next table to ask what they would recommend. They were very high on the short ribs. Stephano, our waiter, recommended the lamb scottadito. So within our group of 4 we had two lamb scottaditos, 1short ribs cacciatore and a duck all' agro dolce. Everyone in the party tasted each of the dishes and we were not disappointed. The duck was very tender with a light complimentary sauce and paired very well with the pineapple and radicchio. The short ribs were extremely tender and very flavorful. The lamb, as Stephano promised, was excellent. My wife doesn't normally care for lamb but she thought it was excellent.
We tried three of the four salads on the menu. The radicchio pear and the beet arugala received high compliments and will be ordered the next visit. Stephano recommended a bottle of Torcicoda Primitivo, which by the way is not on the wine list, for the dinner. The wine was an excellent compliment to the dinners.
Phillipo, the chef, stopped by to see if we were satisfied with everything. Upon learning that we had a common acquaintance he joined us after dessert was served.
Overall, a fun, entertaining evening with superb food and a good bottle of wine. Stephano was very attentive, helpful with suggestions and very hospitable and not everyday do you get to sit down and converse food with the chef of a great restaurant. Can't wait to attend one of their wine dinners.

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2  Thank Bill W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

I always love coming to this place. They have a great wine selection and food to match. Worth the visit.

1  Thank Jeff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2013

I am somewhat surprised at the lashing this place has gotten. Maybe Northeast is not ready for what is offered here. Typical menu choices, (mostly) and typical in atmosphere and décor.

Was really excited about going here as I had read the chef had previously been with i Noni.
Yes, the entry way is tucked into a space that leads you to the interior restaurant, the bar, is simply for a quick wait, not for hanging and the 3 seats are merely there for your comfort in waiting. We did not have a wait. Restaurant is contemporary with nothing "renaissance" about it.

Service was well paced, thank you Rod. Knowledgeable, with a little way to go and that's okay. Effort was there and that was well done. Rod was well groomed and presentable, however some of his colleagues may want to spruce up their appearance to be more professional without their hair hanging out all over and less sloppy in their appointed black and white. Hopefully their service did not match the outfits.

We ordered the short ribs cacciatore. Not an ounce of disappointment. The meat was tender, pull apart with the fork and flavorful; and the accompanying potato rounds were presented and sauced well. Missed the carrot! The helping was perfect. Also ordered was the calamari as an appetizer. This we could have skipped and hopped over to Ginger Hop across the street for their delectable calamari. Unfortunately, Butcher Block was bland and tasteless although tender and perfectly breaded. Needed salt, although none appears on the table, (as in Italy) but with added lemon & parmesan cheese we got the needed taste. (As per previous review, I see they must be working on this salt issue, but too little too late for this $12 app).
I was disappointed with not having the "tasting menu" available. More consistency in that should happen as soon as possible. Had heard from a friend that that was not available on their visit either.

Wine offerings: Many to choose from. When is the Twin Cities going to go for the BYOB concept of so many major cities and concentrate on the food instead of the wines? I would order a nice house red, white, or other by carafe and call it a good day. Be unique! Sell carafes! Why such an expense for a glass or bottle? So many diners would spend more on the food options than the $$$ for the wines. Suggest cutting the list down. Yes, I know it is a big revenue item.We dine for the food experience; the wine is the tasty additive.

I would definitely return to the Butcher Block. It may be that too much anticipation about what there should be is not reality. I am happy with the offerings although a hint to the chef on the
so named "airplane chicken". No, no, no...anyone that has eaten chicken on a flight could only conjure up the thought that this is NOT what they may want to eat at this lovely restaurant.

Give it a fair chance. Go for the food. Make reservations. Place was full on a Tuesday evening.

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1  Thank SusanS609
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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