Grass-fed, pasture-raised beef—it’s what’s for dinner, and it's what’s up for grabs at this new crop of restaurants powered by well-stocked butcher shops across the country.
“There is a longstanding tradition of butchery and ‘the local butcher shop’ in Europe. It’s ingrained in the food culture and in daily life,” says chef Curtis Stone. “In the States, that’s much less the case, though I feel like the public is crying out for it.”
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Which why chefs, like Stone and nose-to-tail meat maven April Bloomfield, are bringing the whole hog and more to their latest establishments, both on the menu and at the counter for inspired diners to test out for themselves in the kitchen.
Here are three to hit up:
Gwen, Los Angeles
“Gwen is the intersection of my dream butcher shop and restaurant,” Stone says of the glamorous Hollywood restaurant he opened with his brother Luke. There’s dry-aged beef, wild venison and homemade charcuterie, but right now Stone is focused on pork, going through 10 whole hogs a week and butchering to spec for the menu and upon customer request.
White Gold, New York City
When April Bloomfield first met Erika Nakamura, the star butcher behind the now-closed Lindy & Grundy in LA, they threw around the idea of opening a butcher shop together. “And if we worked well together, it was my dream to have a modern-day steakhouse attached to it,” Bloomfield says. Now those initial musings are a reality at this Upper West Side temple to meaty things. The counter is where Nakamura and fellow butcher Jocelyn Guest are stationed, with 400 chickens, 8 pigs and 5 lambs on any given week. “We’re excited to serve regular customers everyday,” Nakamura says.
Cleaver & Co., New Orleans
New Orleans native Nathaniel Wallace has been slowly transforming his Milan neighborhood butcher shop since last summer. First, he added a sandwich counter, then a pop-up restaurant every couple of weeks, and now a roving food truck. Next up for the wagyu expert is finding a new space to house a restaurant, featuring the whole wagyu he breaks down at the shop.