Better Late Than Never – Butcher & Bull

A few months ago, when Butcher & Bull opened their doors, they had a media preview night and while I try to always get to those, I had a prior commitment that night and couldn’t make the event at the Marriott in downtown Winston-Salem. But, thanks to Chef Richard Miller and Meagan Byrne at Bolt PR, Stephanie and I finally got my tasting, so we made it a date night.

Arugula Salad

The decor is more straight-lined and gray than I expected but it was modern and welcoming. I thought it looked great in there. While there were some “standard” restaurant fixtures, they remodeled the restaurant into a destination. We liked it a lot, especially the focus on the “bull” aspect. But, other than what to expect whilst eating there, you didn’t come here for interior design lessons. You came here for the food. Let’s do that!

Bison Carpaccio

Chef Richard started us off with a salad. Yeah, a salad. This was the “Arugula Salad” and had baby kale, toasted almonds, shaved fennel, beets, feta and a brown butter miso vinaigrette. I generally do not eat beets as I feel they taste like I’m eating dirt. But, I ate every bite of this salad. I tried to get all of the feta, all of the miso dressing, the almonds, everything. To me, it had a lovely nutty/earthy quality that was very appealing and mixed with the umami miso, the peppery arugula and toasted almonds made this a savory-like salad. I really enjoyed it. Stephanie did as well. It went well with her red wine and my salty gose.

That’s when the fun really started. You know when I say fun that usually means meat! And, since this is a twist on the modern steakhouse, you’d expect meat. How about Bison Carpaccio? Very thinly sliced extra rare bison topped with a quail egg, “Everything Bagel” seasoning, more arugula and Manchego cheese. It also included caper berries which I’ve never had before. I have had, and love, capers but never one of these beauties. The bison was so thinly sliced that they wilted around the fork as I placed it on Stephanie’s and my plates. So, delicate, so tender and so delicious. Mixing the cheese and quail egg around it was tangy and semi-sweet all at the same time.

Smoked Shrimp Cocktail

Next was the Shrimp Cocktail. Boring, right? Not!!! It comes out on a plate with a glass cover and you can barely see what is inside the glass dome because it is so smokey. Cold smoke, actually. When Chef Richard removed the dome, the aroma of the smoke attacked the senses and it was amazing. These shrimps were anything but. They were rather large, drizzled with preserved lemon and sitting on a housemade cocktail sauce mixture of not ketchup like many generic cocktail sauces can be but a tomato jam with horseradish mixed in. And, if you’ve ever read my reviews before you know that Stephanie and I are both fans of pea shoots. The crunchy, earthy greens were the perfect topping for this dish. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and smoked. There was much rejoicing.

Spanish Octopus

Then came the Spanish Octopus. I love octopus. When we have sushi, I like “extra” octopus. It can be chewy, yes, but I really enjoy it. So, this came to us with crisp-yet-tender cauliflower, chorizo bits, a creamy sauce and a tangy chimichurri sauce. The octopus itself was not tough. Its texture was somewhere between a scallop and shrimp. Not mushy and not chewy. It was just right. All the flavors made a delicious plate of goodness. I had to point out the chorizo bits to my girl as she was skipping them, mistaking them for pieces of the cauliflower and octopus. Delicious.

Wagyu Shoulder Tenders

The “real meat” was on its way, next. The Wagyu Shoulder Tenders had their turn. Chunks of pure perfection. They were all done medium rare and had a crusty outer layer that was perfectly seasoned. Very earthy, salty, peppery and was like a hug for the shoulder. You could see the juices between the fibers of the meat and that made it even more appealing. Like most of Butcher & Bull’s steaks (from what I can tell), they come with blistered cherry tomatoes. These things were on the verge of popping but, man… the flavor burst when you bit into it was amazing. Because I was savoring the taste of the beef, I was neglecting the tomatoes but put a bulb on one of the last pieces of this I had and it was a party in my mouth. Acidic. Juicy. Tangy. Savory. Divine. Should I keep coming up with descriptors?

The Bone-In Dry-Aged Ribeye was the last of the big stuff. Although, Chef did ask if we

Bone-In Dry-Aged Ribeye

wanted more meat. I assured him that we had had our fill after this plate. Again, prepared medium-rare, If you’ll remember back when Chef Richard was on our podcast he talked about the dry-aged beef. Dry-aging allows for more flavor and tenderness to permeate through the meat. This plate arrived with a huge bone with the meat morsels already cut for us, more for presentation, I believe. Chef explained that usually it comes intact but he cut it up for us. So tender and being a ribeye, there was a good bit of fat on it. But, as we know, fat equals flavor. It wasn’t so much fat you couldn’t eat it. It was enough fat to make the flavors burst, plus the seasoning on it was making it even better.

Cheesecake

Finally, after we had had enough of heavenly meat, we were treated to the no-frills Cheesecake. It was “plain” (a misnomer, of course), nary a compote to be found, on a graham cracker crust and served with house-whipped cream. It was anything but plain, but it had no “toppings.” And, it didn’t need any. Truth is, we ate the cheesecake with only a bit of time paying any kind of attention to the whipped cream, and even that was delicious. I just didn’t think the cheesecake needed anything but its own volition to make my palate happy. And it did just that.

Chef Richard Miller

There’s a reason why Chef Richard Miller won the NC Competition Dining championship a few years back. That reason is that he’s that darned good. He has great culinary ideas and the culinary skills to back those ideas up. That, and he has an amazing team that he can depend on. The flavors were lightyears beyond ordinary. They were adventurous, experimental, subtle, bursting, everything rolled up in one. A true culinary delight. This is a premier location in this city and if you haven’t tried it, or you haven’t booked your own dinner there, you are doing yourself a disservice. It isn’t often that I attend a tasting where every plate is on par with the one before it. Usually, there are fluctuations, but not this time. Trust me.

Visit their website. Give them a call at 336-722-5232. Use Open Table or any other reservation apps. Just get over there. Sooner than later. Butcher & Bull is located in the Marriott downtown, 425 N. Cherry Street.

Thank you, Chef Richard, Butcher & Bull, Meagan Byrne, Bolt PR, for a most fantastic meal and evening.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 121

Sentinel Commons artist rendering (©Sentinel Commons)

In Episode #121 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Nick and Cole from Linville Team Partners and Stuart from Lambert Architecture talk about plans for Sentinel Commons.
  • Adam Andrews to open Young Cardinal Cafe in Hutch & Harris dining room spot.
  • Irie Rhythms is now Sea Breeze Island Cuisine.
  • Could ABC stores in NC be a thing of the past? It could if this bill passes the NCGA!
  • Downtown Grocery Store talk quelled once again.
  • Food holidays and history.

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 120

In Episode #120 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Will & Latasha Lewis along with Cam Myers all from Cam’s Coffee talk about their coffeeshop and the struggles and satisfaction of operating a business geared toward helping “Differently Challenged” folks find their place in life.
  • Former owners of Cities opens Johnny B’s on Stratford Rd, not far from the former location.
  • K&W in Clemmons closes.
  • Hops Burger Bar gets a freshly painted sign and could be close to opening.
  • Rumors are starting to swirl about H&H location. We give vague reference to this.
  • Triad Eco-Tours and NC Hotdogs present Hot Dog Tasting Trolley Tour. You can get $5 off the price using our own special code: Man5 at this link.
  • Food holidays and history.

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 119

George Memory and his beautiful family.

In Episode #119 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • George Memory of Organix Juice Bar and Cafe Vara Du is in to talk about both locations; great conversation.
  • Earl’s owners to open a new bar on the corner of Fourth and Burke.
  • Mozelle’s owner buys duplex next door, patio to expand, possibly more.
  • Shalom Project has record-setting Big Chill and counting.
  • Triad Eco-Tours and NC Hotdogs presents Hot Dog Tasting Trolley Tour. You can get $5 off the price using our own special code: Man5 at this link.
  • Food holidays and history.

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Bon Appetit!

Carrabba’s Lunar Effects Wine Dinner

Last night, Stephanie and I had the pleasure of getting to attend a wine dinner with our dear friends, The Lowders, at Carrabba’s in Winston-Salem. It was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. Of course, the moon landing was the goal of that mission and it was successful.

The best part was afterward when several of the diners including Stephanie and me, went out with the Astronomy Club and Proprietario of Carrabba’s WS, my friend Daniel Butner, to see extraplanetary and celestial wonders like Saturn, Jupiter (and several of its moons), and our Moon through some cool telescopes. And the kicker? The International Space Station passed by around 9:37 pm or so.

Calabrian Wings

Daniel, a repeat guest on our podcast, is a huge space buff and the fact that the whole of Carrabba’s (nationwide) was doing these dinners across the country was like a dream come true for him. “You mean I get to participate in two of my passions (the restaurant and space) at once?” he asked. Sign him up!

But, this is a food blog, so let’s talk about the dinner, shall we?

First Course: Calabrian Roasted Wings paired with Blue Moon Wheat.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wings? Beer? At Carrabba’s? Well, that question isn’t too far-fetched. I believe Daniel questioned it, too, but he, like everyone else, totally understood as soon as we tasted the wings. Baked and seasoned and then seasoned with spicy Italian Calabrian peppers. Served with a lovely gorgonzola sauce. I even ate the Calabrian pepper. It was hot but it was tolerable. Great starter. And, we got to keep the commemorative Apollo 11 50th-anniversary pilsner glasses from Blue Moon.

Mezzaluna Carrabba

Second Course: Mezzaluna Carrabba paired with Rocca Delle Macie Moonlite (white blend). 
Mezzaluna translates to “middle-moon” or “half-moon.” These were half-moon shaped ravioli stuffed with chicken, spinach, Ricotta and Romano cheeses and tossed in Alfredo sauce. It was then topped with wood-grilled chicken, stuffed mushrooms and peas. I loved the mezzaluna ravioli.

Pollo Sorrento

Third Course: Pollo Sorrento paired with Alta Lina Pinot Noir.
Wood-grilled chicken stuffed with crispy eggplant, mozzarella and tomatoes then topped with their housemade Lombardo Marsala sauce. I wasn’t big on the Pinot Noir by itself but this dish made the wine POP! Daniel had sent me a picture of the prep of this dish with the eggplant and mozzarella getting ready to become the warming food blanket that it was. That sauce, that Lombardo Marsala sauce kicked this dish up about three notches. It was my favorite dish of the night.

Cinnamon Apple Crostata

Fourth Course: Cinnamon Apple Crostata paired with Saint M Riesling from Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Crispy cinnamon apple tart with a thin layer of hazelnut filling topped with caramel sauce and mint. A nice, mildly-sweet Riesling to go with the sweetness of the Crostata was a great end to a delicious wine dinner. At least as far as the food goes.

In addition to the stargazing and food, we were presented with a history of the US Space Program into the 70s and a brief talk on the recent Solar Eclipse that happened in 2017 and one that happened two weeks ago. One of the presenters from the Astronomy Club viewed the latest one from Brazil while on “business.” He shared a timelapse video of it. I have always been moderately interested in space stuff but this really made me think a lot about it. I was fascinated all night long.

They’re doing all this again next Tuesday, July 23. There are spaces available. You will not be disappointed. You can sign up by visiting HERE.

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 118

In Episode #118 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Daniel Butner of Carrabba’s Italian Grill talks about the wine dinner/Apollo 11 celebration happening July 16 and July 23.
  • Wise Man Brewing Named Top 10 Globally.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC and Chef Jeff Bacon to present Farm to Fourth 2019.
  • Duck Donuts coming to Winston-Salem
  • Food holidays and history.

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 117

In Episode #117 proudly produced at The Lab at Industry Hill:

The first-ever remote recording or The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast live from Yamas Mediterranean Street Food!

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Jason and Mia from Yamas hang with us for the entire podcast, talking about Mediterranean food, Yamas, the Michael family and more.
  • Rumors of a new “food hall” in the Sentinel Commons building.
  • Salem’s Biffles are finally at Canteen Market & Bistro.
  • Pan Goo in danger of closing.
  • Sweet Aromaz will close soon.
  • Food holidays and history.

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Bon Appetit!

The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast Episode 116

Chef Jay Pierce of Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro (left) and his new Chef de Cuisine, Chef Graham Heaton (©Michael Hastings/W-SJournal)

In Episode #116 proudly recorded at The Lab at Industry Hill:

Tim and Ray talk about:

  • Eileen Ayuso is in the studio to talk about the Shalom Project, its happenings and The Big Chill coming July 21.
  • Hutch & Harris closes permanently.
  • Mozelle’s gets a new Chef de Cuisine and rolls out a new Summer menu.
  • Salem Kirby is the new dessert/bakery chef for Canteen.
  • Owners of Organix Juice Bar to open Vara Du Cafe this Summer.
  • Summer of Burgers update.
  • Food holidays and history.

Don’t forget our sponsors:

DiLisio’s Italian Family Restaurant Italian food like you’re sitting, eating in Naples. Wonderful Italian dishes from traditional spaghetti and lasagna to contemporary delights. Rich, flavorful sauces, a variety of pasta options, seafood, meat and more. Just south of Downtown and Business 40 (SOB40).

Washington Perk & Provision Company. Better than a convenience store but not quite a grocery store, in the heart of Washington Park and Downtown WSNC.

The Humble Bee Shoppe is challenging your perception of scratch made and leaving you with an experience you couldn’t possibly forget! With inventive flavor combos and a sense of artistry, The Humble Bee Shoppe isn’t your average bakery.

The Man Who Ate the Town is part of The Less Desirables Network. Give it a listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict and TuneIn, basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts. Or you can listen here (at the bottom of the post).

Bon Appetit!

Moji Coffee and More Opens on Trade Street

Tim Flavin, Executive Director of Moji Coffee & More

On Saturday, June 22, I was able to squeeze my way into the crowd in front of the building that once housed Ember Audio to get a few shots of the ribbon cutting for the city’s newest coffee shop.

Unlike most of the other coffee shops in town, Moji Coffee &More is a special place. Moji Coffee & More is a nonprofit business that offers employment to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), according to its Facebook page. On that page and a sign on the window says it’s “coffee that gives everyone a voice.”

Senator Paul Lowe (D)

Moji will train folks who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance at employment in how to become a barista, or in this shop’s case, a “mojista.” It gives them an opportunity to see if they like working in a coffee shop and it also gives them skills that they can take to other coffee shops and seek employment.

Mayor Allen Joines

Moji will serve espresso and other coffee drinks as well as hot tea, frappes, smoothies, bottled cold beverages and more. There will be bagels from Bagel Station and locally made pastries. O’Brien’s Deli will supply cold grab-and-go sandwiches.

The ribbon cutting was presided over by Tim Flavin, a Special Olympics swim coach who serves as Moji Coffee & More’s Executive Director. Flavin said in his remarks that this was a big day not only for the city, not only for Trade Street but for the folks who had worked hard to get Moji up and going and who were enjoying their time working there.

Also at the ribbon cutting was NC Senator Paul Lowe and Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines.

Moji Coffee & More, the Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Joines cut the bright red ribbon to open the facility.

The address for Moji Coffee & More is 690 N. Trade Street in Winston-Salem. Stop by and support this awesome company.

Buie’s Market is Officially Open

Yesterday, I attended the official ribbon cutting for Buie’s Market. City Councilman Jeff MacIntosh and members of the Chamber of Commerce were in attendance.

Perhaps the coolest part was that Mr. Wayne Buie, whom, along with the pharmacy that he owned, the market is named for, was the special guest ribbon cutter for the event. He took time to talk with the attendees, many of which were frequenters of his pharmacy.

Buie’s Market is a quaint little market nestled back in the background of the Buena Vista neighborhood, connected to the same building as Diamondback Grill. It is a specialty market that will feature many local food sources and services. They have produce, most of which is from Whit Acres farm here in Winston-Salem. Camino Bakery is featured in its own section with various styles of bread. Dinners On The Porch has meals-on-the-go ready to be taken home and thrown in the oven. Ice Cream, condiments, spreads, meats, cheeses and much more. They have a coffee bar that also has beer on tap and wine, plus two coolers for packaged beer and wine.

I got to speak with Kristen and Ben Holcomb and Will Doss a good bit yesterday, and I told them that I feel the community needed this and will support it. It’s a beautiful space with a history, which goes over quite well in this town.

Today, they have more grand opening festivities that includes a real, live dairy cow brought in by Homeland Creamery. I recommend that you go and check them out. They are located at 749 N Avalon Road. They are open 7a-9p every day.