Foodie on the Half Shell: Review of Butcher and the Rye


Photo Credit: Olivia Beals

A bitter cold evening during rush hour doesn’t sound like any fun on a Thursday night in downtown Pittsburgh, but the warm atmosphere in Butcher and the Rye had me forgetting the sub-zero wind-chill. The food is robust and hardy, and their whiskey selection is like nothing I have ever seen before. Put your big-girl or big-boy pants on, because the tastes and atmosphere are anything but tame.

Their menu is half drink and half food. The food menu is of average size, but has a great variety. There are many options for their smaller plates and just as many for their larger plates. The smaller plates are not too small, though! They are a heaping bowl full, which makes a great deal with an average of $8 for the small plates. The larger plates are a little expensive, but all of their ingredients are of great quality and their meats are handled beautifully.

I was enjoying my dinner with my beautiful mother and her fabulous friend, who were going to the theatre. They ordered some bourbon drinks that were made with some smoky whiskeys. My mom, who does not drink bourbon usually, really enjoyed her surprisingly citrusy and light drink. Her friend said her bourbon was fantastic.

We all shared three different small plates and then ordered a not-so-normal caesar salad. We had the Brussels, the shishito, and the cauliflower (which is actually an option on the larger portion side) but we treated it as a small plate to share. The Brussels are deep fried Brussels sprouts, with melted parmesan and some aioli on the side. It is greasy, but so delicious. The only thing I would say is ease up on the salt in that dish. I think that the dish would have been addictive, but it ended up being too salty to eat too much of it. Which is maybe a good thing, since it is deep- fried!

The shishito is a plate full of little middle green peppers with a Siracha cream sauce. They were nice and charred. As for the cauliflower, it was nothing compared to the other dishes. It was dilly and well cooked, but my taste buds weren’t exactly dancing. Finally we had the ceasar salad, that was made out of kale. It had a garlicky and crunchy crostini, and some sweet little compressed tomatoes.

Altogether, I was very satisfied and the waiter was pretty awesome as well. He was knowledgeable about the food and drinks, and totally reminded me of a more handsome version of Ben from Parks and Recreation. Great food and attractive service! I love this place!

The ambiance reminded me of an explosion of Pinterest gone right. It has the perfect combination of arts and crafts and Victorian era. The wallpaper is feminine but is surrounded by wood walls and floor and buck heads on the wall. I forgot to even be offended by them, because it all looked so good! The chairs and eclectic chinaware were perfectly mixed and matched and made you feel at home. The only thing about the interior that might put someone off is what the ladies have to deal with in the restroom. I’m not going to give this surprise away, but I will tell you that I thought it was hysterical, while others may find it offensive.

This restaurant if full of surprises when it comes to their tastes, their two different floors with different styles, and even their bathrooms. I encourage everyone to try this new place out and to also try their sister restaurant: Meat and Potatoes. The creators really know what they are doing, and I look forward to seeing what else they have up their sleeves.