Tag Archives: downtown

Foodies…Check out Butcher & Bull

The Butcher is In. (a previous version of this story can be found here at YES! Weekly.)

I have to say, we were warned.

A few weeks back when Chef Richard Miller hinted at what was to come at the Chef’s Table at Butcher & Bull, he said to be prepared to see creative slants on some of their favorite dishes that were fun and surprising in an effort to get us out of our comfort zones. He said he and Chef Tim Gallione had been planning for weeks to dazzle us with one of the most creative menus we’ve seen.

Before we get into the food at the event, we need to talk about the complete overhaul that Butcher & Bull, located inside the Marriott in downtown Winston-Salem, underwent earlier this year. The eatery, formerly known as Graze, was transformed into a sleek space rich in blues and neutral tones, leather and light. There might be a few animal skulls present…just to be sure you don’t forget where you are.

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“We knew we wanted a fresh, vibrant, contemporary restaurant to stand out in what is happening in Downtown Winston-Salem and we decided on the idea of a steakhouse, which we don’t really have down here,” Miller told me during my podcast.

Gone are the booths with television screens and anything suggesting hotel.  Miller says the desire was to create a welcoming environment for gathering and fellowship, “We wanted a 100% brand new product and leave no evidence of the past, so that people will want to come here for dinner, enjoy the company of friends and family, have a good cocktail or a glass of wine and have a really phenomenal steak or anything else on the menu.”

In addition to abundant steak offerings with various cuts, like a Strip and a 48 ounce Tomahawk, there is tuna, salmon, and crab cakes and a cauliflower steak. Now, Butcher & Bull is getting accolades for its inventive small plates and shareable like the Bison Carpaccio with Quail Egg and a showstopper of a Shrimp Cocktail, complete with a presentation under a cold, smoky, glass dome. 

Miller, who grew up in Winston-Salem, has spent the better part of a decade going up the ranks at Butcher & Bull. He helped develop the former iteration, Graze, and made a name for himself locally and regionally as a chef there, winning the local Competition Dining Series. After a brief departure, he returned to Graze as Executive Chef and guided the culinary team through the transformation to Butcher & Bull.

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The Butcher’s Room is available for private events

The Chef’s Table that was presented on June 20 was everything Miller promised and more. As we gathered in the “Butcher’s Room,” we were presented with six beautifully-plated courses that were playful and adventurous with bright colors and interesting textures. And each and every dish was as delicious as it was visually appealing. If at first you eat with your eyes, well we got an eyeful for sure of.…

Local ingredients.

And raw meat.

And organs.

And an eight-limbed mollusc.

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Course 1

General Tso’s Harmony Ridge Farms duck heart, greens, citrus, peanuts, togarasu

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A kick off to the evening with an unexpected Asian flare. We had some skeptical folks at the table when the menu mentioned “duck heart.” But the heart was perfectly and lightly breaded on the outside and tender enough to cut with a fork. The drizzle of sauce had just enough heat and made the perfect bite when accompanied with the crushed peanuts.

Course 2

Beef Tartare, deviled egg crema, pecorino

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As if heart wasn’t enough to surprise you, imagine your next course being raw beef? But Butcher & Bull’s tartare is so well executed, with proper seasoning. The deviled egg crema landed a southern slant to the dish and the pecorino was baked into a crisp, which could be used like a savory little cracker.

Course 3

Charred octopus, Southern cucumber salad, Fair Share Farm Micro Greens, Lemon, EVOO, onions, fennel

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Another ambitious dish by Chef Richard and his team. This two-toned dish of lightly charred octopus on bright quick pickled cukes was a wonderful middle course. The pickles (a riff on Miller’s mother’s recipe) allowed for some palate cleansing with an intrepid star of the plate.

Course 4

Joyce Farms bone marrow, bread-and-butter cauliflower, fermented mustard, charred bread, Old Nick Carolina bourbon

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And now we get a marrow bone. Beautifully and rustically plated, the bones had a light schmear of marrow topped with house-made mustard. But this dish required Chef Richard to visit the room and instruct us that. after scooping out the marrow and enjoying with the “toast”, we were to then use that hollow bone as a sloo or a “shoot” in which to take back the shot of bourbon. Some of our diners succeeded at this fun challenge. I failed epically. 

Course 5

Certified Angus Beef ® brand , Demi glaze, pommes purée potato chips, sweet potato, mushrooms

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As our 5th course arrived, we knew that the culinary team really wanted to show off what Butcher & Bull wants to be known for—steak and with pizzazz as the service team came around the other side and drizzled the steak with the demi.

Course 6

Carolina Gold Rice Pudding, Johnson Farms Peaches, Fair Share Farm​ marigold flowers

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There’s something about the flavor of Carolina Gold rice. Hailing from the southeastern reaches of the Carolinas, it has a beautiful golden hue and a deep, toasty flavor, almost reminiscent of popcorn. And when Richard turned it into rice pudding, the toasty flavor came through along with the sweetness of the cream and then it was topped with wonderfully succulent grilled yellow and white peaches, with edible flowers.

At the end of the evening, the room erupted in applause, with many guests saying it was the best event they’d attended.  As for Miller, he says he and Chef Tim Gallione wanted to give the guests a taste of what inspires them and he promises that this is only the beginning.

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I am absolutely sure you’ll find something you are looking for at Butcher & Bull and I highly recommend you give them a try.

Butcher & Bull is located at 425 North Cherry Street, in the downtown Marriott in Winston-Salem. Parking is available around the property but valet is also complimentary with a validated receipt. butcherandbull.com

 

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The wine cellar is available for private events

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foodie b’eat: I successfully completed the $20 Challenge at the Farmer’s Market

My friend, Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks blog, has a $20 challenge cooking show that airs on the City of Winston-Salem’s cable channel. Nikki shops the Dixie Classic farmer’s market and finds the best produce, meat along with other items to make a complete meal for $20 (she can use “staples” from her pantry, like vinegar, flour, seasonings, etc). She challenged ME to do the same at any market I choose. Challenge accepted! So last weekend, I hit my Kernersville Farmer’s Market (located in downtown KVegas) with the hopes of finding some wonderful items to make a glorious meal that my hubby and kidlets would gobble up and never forget.

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Our local market is steadily growing. It has PLENTY of jam and bread but the produce is making its way in and though it’s still not as colorful as some markets who have been going for a while, it’s definitely a great place to get some seasonal items for your table. This weekend it was full of squash, squash, zucchini, squash, beets, greens and squash. Oh and green beans, and jam and bread and eggs and meat from…Rebel Ridge Farm.

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Love me some Rebel Ridge. The eggs are fabulous and farmer, Bob, has all natural chicken and lamb as well. Now, I hardly ever buy a whole roast chicken. I just don’t enjoy making it. Plus I want an “all-natural, unfooled around with” chicken and they are usually SO expensive and it’s hard to spend the money on ONE chicken. But Rebel Ridge’s chicken was $12 and I’m okay with that. Plus they told me at the market that his chicken was fantastic so I thought I’d give it a try.
Price: 12.00

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Across the way, I bought some green beans from this nice man. And I didn’t write the farm down, but his green beans were perfect.
Price: $2

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At the Crews table, I bought a .50 Texas Sweet Onion.

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Next table over, I purchased 2 lbs. of baby red potatoes from James Lawson.
Price $1.00

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I also purchased some just cut, romaine lettuce and tasted some delicious roasted beets. I’d purchase beets if I weren’t the only one to eat them. I really like them on a salad with spicy pimento cheese. Try it.  🙂
Price: $3

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And from my friend, Laura Devonmille, of Simplicity Homestead, I bought some radishes. She’s got way more than that. And zucchinis as big as clubs. And jam and bread!
Price: $1.50

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There, that’s $20! I decided to make a roast chicken with green beans and caramelized onions and roasted potatoes. Kind of boring and pretty much a cinch. But ask my mr. foodie how often I make a roast chicken and you’ll find out that in my house, this is “special.” And it really was. The chicken was succulent and, unlike mass produced chicken, the Rebel Ridge Farm chicken’s skin was light, thin and crispy and the meat was tender and juicy (though I could’ve cut back the time…lesson learned).

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I ended up saving the romaine for another meal and used the leftover green beans, onions AND the potatoes for a future salad along with the rest of the chicken that I pulled off the bone. Kind of like nicoise..yum!

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So now I challenge YOU to make a meal with the major components being purchased from your local farmer’s market for $20. Are you up to it? What are your “foodie finds” at farmer’s markets?

$20 Farmer’s Market  Roast Chicken with Potatoes & Green Beans w/caramelized onions

1 whole chicken
Herbs (I used lavender, rosemary, thyme)
Salt/Pepper
Olive oil or butter

Rinse chicken and pat dry, generously salt and pepper the inside and out, under skin, etc., drizzle with olive oil and top with herbs.

Potatoes:
Halve or quarter to make even in size and drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. Place in the pan with the chicken.

Roast at 375 for 1 hour, then raise the temperature to 400 and cook an additional 15 minutes until done. If you’re chicken is smaller, adjust time accordingly.

Green beans with caramelized onions
Trim green beans if needed, slice onions into thin strips. Add butter or oil to pan and saute onions slowly until caramelized. Meanwhile in a pot of boiling water, blanch your green beans for a few minutes, then remove, drain and add to the onions. Saute until they are tender crisp.

Enjoy!

If you have leftovers, simply place your beans, remaining chicken and potatoes in a single container. When ready warm (or don’t) and top onto salad greens of your choice with a light vinaigrette, preferably one with a little lemon. And add some bacon while you’re at it–Lunch!

 

 

 

 

 

Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co.

The already "iconic" bar backdrop

The already “iconic” bar backdrop

What do you get when you cross 3 dudes, craftmanship, history and beer? You get the new Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Company. They are the topic du jour, even though I felt like I was following them before they got all hot and popular :). I can’t wait for Hoots Roller Bar to open in mid-September. It is really a feast for the eyes and it has nothing to do with food. Everything added into the old Hoots Roller Mill warehouse, which stood vacant, is completely hand-made. What’s more, you’ll see old wood from family collections, reclaimed restaurant booths and an old piano and the detail and care that has been placed into each and every item, well you can tell it’s a labor of love. That labor comes from the hands of owners and friends Eric Swaim, Eric Weyer and Ralph Pritts. You may know them from around town, Krankies, the stage, etc. But their new claim to fame will be Hoots Roller Bar in the Historic West End, at West End Millworks, formerly Hoots Roller Mill.

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Hoots Roller Bar is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign with 6 more days to go. Their open date is sometime in mid-September with the brewery to follow in the fall.

When we arrived last week, we saw Ralph sawing away and Eric S showed us the place and what they envision the bar and brewery to be. There are intricately laid wood accents. There are portholes in the bar that give glimpses inside the future brewery. A true work in progress that’s being worked right down to the wire. And these pictures are a reflection of that. No beauty shots here. This is the Hoots Roller Bar life in pictures.

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The Brewery side

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The Old Piano

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Reclaimed Restaurant Booths

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The Erics and Ralph are also excited about their address and that they will soon be followed by other businesses including, Winston-Salem’s first distillery. And The Porch Kitchen + Cantina, where you can get food to go, or order and hang out (there’s also a kickstarter campaign for that). The old mill house and the rustic look of the area is sure to draw a certain crowd. A crowd that loves that old, yet progressive look and a casual greenspace that is so inviting for just having a cold one and relaxing with friends.

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Future Distillery

Future Distillery

Hashbrowns...just kidding. It's saw dust. And there's a lot of it.

Hashbrowns…just kidding. It’s saw dust. And there’s a lot of it. It’s also known as insulation.

This is a local lovie’s dream. You see what used to be progress. It turned to a shack, left forgotten to just sit there and deteriorate. But it’s in the midst of a transformation and that is VERY exciting to see. And it is even more thrilling to see 3 young men shaping their dream into a reality, while turning something that could’ve been nothing, into something really special.

This is just the beginning for Eric, Eric, Ralph and property owner, John Bryan, whose vision is transforming this area into a place of community, arts and business. It is definitely a place to keep our eye on.

We’ll see you there in September!

Click here for the Kickstarter Campaign for Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co.

Click here for The Porch Kitchen + Cantina (part of Dinners on the Porch) Kickstarter.