May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Butcher Grill House Is Worth the Trip

Opening Butcher Grill House was a journey for partners Avi Berko and Chef Ben Davidov. And while you probably know a tale or two about a place that was years in the making, this one might take the steak.

First, they had a butcher shop. It was great, but it was small. When the small restaurant next door closed, they decided to expand into that space. But after being open for a little while, the combined space proved to be a bit much for a butcher shop. So they decided to open a restaurant, until COVID-19 happened. Now they were stuck with the space, but couldn’t open.

Instead, they decided on opening a place for Shabbat takeout. With takeout being at an all-time high, they rode the wave through the pandemic. But the success of their pivot didn’t distract them from their goal. After restrictions abated, they found a new location for the butcher shop (334 Albany Avenue in Crown Heights) and started work on developing the restaurant that opened earlier this year.

When I was invited to check it out, there were a few things I was excited to try. Anybody who gets pictures from restaurants in their social media feeds has seen the Garlic Guac Beef Bombs. A trio of sliders, these mini croissants are filled with pulled beef, chimichurri, arugula, roasted garlic and guacamole before being drizzled with a touch of honey. The flavors and textures come together for something not just delicious, but different.

Davidov invented these for a private event when a returning customer asked for a surprise. They were a huge hit at the party and they are now the bestseller on his menu at Butcher Grill House. “Everyone makes tacos,” Davidov said. “And I don’t want to do it like everyone.”

You know what everyone also has? Wings. But the “Finger Licking” Chicken Wings here are certainly not pedestrian. They call the sauce a “smoked garlic honey glaze” on the menu, but you kind of have to try it for yourself. My best description would be a Carolina barbeque sauce, but creamier and with more smoke and spice. It’s a strong taste, but I appreciated the complexity.

Another appetizer I’d recommend is the Crispy Mushrooms. Don’t be afraid to walk into what used to be a literal butcher shop and order this pareve starter. You can’t go wrong with these fried balls of deliciousness. The breadcrumbs make for a great crust and either the sweet chili or the pesto mayo (or both) work as a drizzle or dipping sauce.

When it’s time to order a main course, you’ll notice that there are a bevy of chicken options. Let me vouch for the Grilled Chicken Breast. Butterflied to perfection, this cutlet comes with a green garlic marinade and is somehow juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside despite being virtually paper-thin. The flavor of the marinade is nicely absorbed and gives the classic grill flavor an extra tang.

These guys are actual butchers, so you can’t go wrong with ordering a steak. I had the Grilled Prime Rib, and it was everything I thought it would be. With a beautiful sear on the outside, this steak has fabulous flavor even without the savory mushroom gravy that comes on the side.

Speaking of sides, each entrée comes with your choice of two sides. There are nine choices and all are good, but I’d recommend the french fries (skin-on and slightly thicker cut), the Israeli salad (one of the best I’ve had), and the vegetable skewer (unique and aligns well with the grill theme).

Though you wouldn’t typically associate a grill house with desserts, you’re going to want to save some room. With a full slate of desserts on the menu, there are plenty of options. But if you have to choose just one, get the Belgian Waffle. Topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberry and chocolate hazelnut sauces, caramelized sliced almonds and powdered sugar, this creation looks almost as good as it tastes. The waffle is crispy, the sauces are sweet, the ice cream is smooth, and the almonds bring a great crunch.

Butcher Grill House is one of the few restaurants trying to make its way in the new mid-tier of kosher restaurants. There are no white tablecloths, but there are waiters. There are steaks, but it’s no fancy steakhouse. The look is sleek, but the vibe is welcoming.

The road was long, but the destination? Worth it.

Butcher Grill House
Meat – Waiter Service
Sunday-Thursday: 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
(347) 770-4042
411 Troy Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11213
Beis Din of Crown Heights Vaad Hakashrus (CHK)

Nati Burnside is a freelance writer living in Fair Lawn and is a man of many interests. He can be reached at [email protected].

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