Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Butcher & the Rye, Revisited

It's taken me a while to get to this post. At this point, it has been nearly a month since we dined at Butcher & the Rye after seeing Beauty & the Beast at Heinz Hall.
This time, despite trying to make reservation 2-3 months in advance, we could only be seated at the communal tables in the front. I don't have a huge problem with communal tables, but I am not really a fan of them. I don't like people listening to my conversations and I'm not a fan of being able to hear everything the other people at the table say. Also, they are not especially wheelchair friendly. The communal tables have long picnic table like benches and the table ends are solid wood, not open where I could roll up and tuck my legs under. So when we arrived, the hostess seemed a little unable to figure out the logistics of everything (even though we had specified in the reservation that one person was in a wheelchair) and had to get help from someone else. The end result? The entire huge communal table had to be pulled out from the wall and the bench slid down toward the wall, leaving a gap on one side of the table large enough for me to fit in.

Yes, they made the effort. Yes, it worked. But honestly, such "scenes" do not make me happy because I feel it draws too much attention to me in the wheelchair and frankly, I hate it. For this reason alone, I'm not sure we can return to Butcher & the Rye. Even when we tried to make a reservation 2-3 months in advance for after Phantom of the Opera (which we ended up having to cancel because of weather) the only tables available were the communal tables. This seems a little absurd, but, whatever.
It's a shame because we really like the food and cocktails. We both chose a featured cocktail for our beverage. SP chose the punch and I chose the Southern Belle.
The Southern Belle was really, really tasty! As in I finished it in under 5 minutes and "had" to order another cocktail.
For my second drink, I chose Salinger Sling (Woodford Reserve, Grand Marnier, coffee bitters).
As usual we ordered the Roasted Brussels Sprouts (brown butter, dill, parmesan, lemon aioli). The presentation is different from what I remember (I think they used to be served in a bowl) and they had more of a dill flavor, which we both really liked since dill is one of our favorite herbs.
We tried a new-to-us dish: Cauliflower (roasted farro grain, romanesco, baby carrots, pine buts, brown butter, harissa yogurt). I was worried this would be too spicy for me, but it wasn't. In fact, I couldn't stop eating it! One of the best dishes I've had.
Another usual order: Mac N Cheese (taleggio, fontina, goat cheese, cheddar, parmesan). As usual, delicious and creamy and cheesy.
A special of the day: Oysters.
I don't eat oysters. SP does and he said these were delicious.
He also enjoyed his usual Pig Candy (pork belly, apple kim chi, miso caramel, cilantro) while I enjoyed my usual Sunday Gravy (lamb neck, tomatoes, olive oil, ricotta, warm country bread.
For the first time, we tried dessert. I really wanted the S'mores dessert, but I knew I couldn't eat it all myself and as soon as our server mentioned the Meyer Lemon Cream Cake, I knew I'd never convince SP to pass up the lemon cake for s'mores.
Fruit caviar, hibiscus dust, matcha sorbet, meringue, grapefruit gel. This was excellent, lemony. I loved the fruit caviar, popping those little caviar eggs in my mouth! The grapefruit slice was so paper thin it was see-through.
Our food was yummy, our server was good, I just wish they'd figure out a better way to accommodate wheelchairs. We never seem to be able to get a table in the area where we sat the first few times we dined at B&tR (even though it was up a step, we can do it, and SP has told them that when he calls) and I'm really not a fan of the communal table set up. Plus, we're old and having to sit on a picnic bench isn't super comfy for SP's back!

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