Monday, June 13, 2016
Pittsburgh, PA Edition: Butcher And The Rye
For our last meal in Pittsburgh, Butcher And The Rye was up.
We didn't have reservations, and we couldn't be there as soon as they opened for dinner at 5 p.m. -- because we were busy waiting in line for ANOTHER restaurant to open. So, as soon as I was seated at Tako (literally next door to Butcher And The Rye with a walkway connecting the two - same owner) and waiting for my food to arrive, I called Butcher And The Rye to see if they would have ANYTHING available for dinner that evening. Somehow, luckily, they had an opening at 5:45 p.m. It was currently 5 p.m., but we made it.
Our reservation was for a "non-traditional" seating space, which means it was upstairs in the lounge area, where I essentially sat on a couch and we had another ottoman as a chair. It was comfortable, but a bit odd for a meal. It's also quite dark upstairs and a bit more of a whiskey bar feel. The rest of the restaurant has a very cool rustic feel, with butcher paper denoting the specials. Oil lanterns. Chandeliers of antlers. Antique doorknobs. Just super cool.
The menu has delicacies like bone marrow with oxtail jam, dry aged tartare, mussels, and Sunday gravy. I honed in on my absolute favorites: Mac N Cheese - taleggio, fontina, goat cheese, cheddar and parmesan; and S'Mores - bourbon marshmallow, chocolate rope, brown butter fried ice cream, and graham cracker soil. I was setting up this restaurant to win from the get-go.
Mac & cheese, in my mind, can unite worlds and solve wars. It's the best thing - besides ice cream. This had a nice panko crust hiding shells enveloped in a beautiful cheesy blend. This mac & cheese may have been one of the best I've ever had. And considering I was so full and still wanted to eat this, that's saying something.
Ah, and the s'mores. That ice cream was to. die. for. The marshmallow divine. And the graham cracker topped it all off. I didn't love the chocolate because it was a bit bitter, but the ice cream more than made up for it.
Despite it being the last place I visited, it may be my absolute favorite - because, really, what more do you need in life than mac & cheese and s'mores?