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Jul 26, 2009 09:20 AM

MSP Butcher Block - Good! (despite identity crisis)

So a few of us went the Butcher Block last night. It is pretty nice inside once you get through the narrow little hallway. I had the grilled octopus and it was AWESOME, just how I like my octopus. It wasn't overcooked and wasn't rubbery, it was just right and very flavorful. Our table also ordered a couple bottles of wine. That is where the identity crisis begins for the menu at least. The red and white wines you can order by the glass or by the bottle are all $5 per glass or $15 per bottle. Weirdly inexpensive compared to the food prices. I am not complaining, but the choices were also very obscure and lacked depth. They do have some pricier choices by the bottle only, and the obligatory "expensive" choices on the last page. So overall I am sure most people could find something. Entrées I had - - The gnocchi was very very good. The gnocchi itself was potato gnocchi and it was excellent, not mushy, not gummy, not dry. It was topped with a delicious tomato sauce with chunks of fresh mozzarella. If anything could be improved it would have been overall spice/salt. It was a very mild dish. My wife ordered a sausage pasta from the specials menu. It was awesome too! I am not a sausage fan, but the dish was really put together well. If anything, it had the opposite issue from the gnocchi, it was so savory/salty that is could have been toned down a bit. The other couple we were with ordered the Scallops and the assortment of grilled meats. The scallops were excellent and cooked perfectly, however there were only 3 to the dish witch was not entrée sized in anybody's opinion. Still hungry a couple baskets of bread were ordered. (For $1.50 each you get an underwhelming basket of cold tiny crusty bread pieces) The grilled meats were very good. Overall the dinning experience was very good and the food was super! The service was very good as well. Each request made to the server was answered with "for sure" in the Minnesota accent we are all used to. My confusion was with a couple things. First the wine list I already mentioned. Second, the servers all wear jean and t-shirts, and that doesn't seem to fit the theme/menu, at least for dinner. Evidently at 9pm the place turns into some kind of wing/burger joint. Don't try to order the lamb burger for dinner, you will get shut down! So I would like to visit again but later in the evening to see how the atmosphere is for "wing time" I will go back!

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  1. I believe it is owned by former chefs at I Nonni.

    1 Reply
    1. re: redmeatfan

      Princebaal- thanks for the detailed review-- I have been perusing the menu there, (standing outside reading the window) wondering about it. I suppose I will have to go check out the gnocchi since it sounds like they are doing them Italian style which I have been whining quite a bit about on this board- that there is a lack of the Italian potato ones. And being a low salt person, maybe those would be perfect for me! Definitely sounds like a quirky place with some talent in the kitchen....

    2. Just got back from our first trip to Butcher Block and will return soon! The food was delicious - from the chicken marsala, goat served with white beans and summer vegetables to the homemade ravioli with lamb, ricotta and mint. We started with the house wings that were nice and crispy with a sticky soy glaze. Our server Marly was totally adorable and answered all of our questions with a sweet helpfulness. At the end of the meal we met the the chef Filippo. He was very engaging and I asked him if they would serve more Roman dishes such as trippa. He said they would have kidneys, brains, sweetbreads and more. I am so looking forward to returning as he said they would have osso busco with a white risotto in the coming weeks. What a great addition to the Twin Cities!

      Jfood I think you should try Butcher Block and let us know what you think!

      1. hmmm. Interesting. My husband and I always very much enjoyed I Nonni, so if that's the chef...we'll have to check it out!