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In early November, three Forsyth Woman ladies and I entered Butcher & Bull Steakhouse expecting a delicious meal, but when we arrived, our expectations were more than exceeded. We were greeted by the personable general manager Chris Hammer, who describes Butcher & Bull as a “steakhouse with swagger,” a suitable synopsis of the chic décor which gives the restaurant a modern flair in contrast to the ambiance of a classic, rustic steakhouse. Chris encouraged each of us to enjoy our evening and start off with a craft cocktail, to which I happily obliged and ordered the refreshing Lavender Margarita to get the night started.
We were first served a hearty portion of the Shotgun Shrimp appetizer, which consists of juicy jumbo shrimp wrapped in crisp spring roll wrappers, served with a trio of distinct dipping sauces. The ladies and I devoured the Shotgun Shrimp, and quickly realized we needed to exercise a little self-control and pace ourselves for the appetizers and entrees to follow.
Our next course was the picturesque Equinox Salad, a strategic combination of spinach, kale, goat cheese crumbles, thinly sliced apples, candied walnuts, Craisins, and a sweet lemon poppyseed dressing. The Equinox Salad is also topped with a colorful, locally sourced edible flower. The ratio of ingredients to dressing was just right, providing us with a light, healthy precursor to the dishes to come.
The ladies and I got our hands dirty by diving into the Twice Cooked Jumbo Chicken Wings, tossed in spicy miso and dipping sauces to die for. Because the wings were, in fact, jumbo wings, this small plate is satisfying with just the right amount of spice.
One of the most unique dishes of the night was the Saganaki, a Greek recipe of pan-seared Halloumi cheese with a thin, crispy crust topped with a drizzle of honey. Chef Mitchell Nicks added a bit of flair to our dinner by lighting the Saganaki on fire at the table to assist in caramelizing the honey on top of the Halloumi. Alongside the cheese were thick slices of fresh focaccia bread with a light herb seasoning, presenting itself as the perfect vehicle for the Saganaki. In addition to the cheese and focaccia, Chef Mitchell brought Lemon Garlic Mushrooms to the table that were served with thyme, parmesan, and olive oil.
Our next entrée, the Cavatappi Bolognese, was a heartwarming plate of cavatappi pasta in a meaty Bolognese sauce with finely shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, basil, and oregano. We were then served a melt-in-your-mouth, wine-braised short rib atop whipped buttery potatoes and organic baby spinach. According to Chef Mitchell, the short rib pairs best with an inky cabernet wine, a Bordeaux, or a red Zinfandel, due to the short rib’s fatty and rich flavor. He also suggested a glass of Champagne, to which I upped the ante and ordered one of my favorites, the Aperol Spritz. Although it’s made with Prosecco rather than Champagne, an Aperol Spritz is a sparkling, citrus Italian cocktail that you can never go wrong with.
As the evening was winding down, we were served a perfectly cooked Ribeye steak with salt, pepper, and herbs, and ended the evening with the Pan-seared Salmon Filet cooked in brown butter and fresh herbs, served with whipped potatoes. The salmon carried a pleasant flavor that even those wary of seafood would enjoy. If you’re wondering whether the four of us were able to clean every plate, rest assured that we each happily left with to-go boxes for top-of-the-line leftovers the following day.
Aside from culinary excellence, the staff at Butcher & Bull sets the restaurant apart from other local eateries. Located in the Marriott Hotel in downtown Winston-Salem, Butcher & Bull has curated a brand new menu and an environment that serves its guests far more of a dining experience than a typical hotel restaurant. Although Butcher & Bull opened in 2019, Chef Mitchell Nicks is fairly new to the restaurant, starting his position in October. A former student at UNC School of the Arts, Mitchell is a ballet dancer-turned-culinary genius, attending Johnson & Wales University for culinary school, and attending a six-month apprenticeship in the Savoie region of France. With 30 years of experience as a chef, he creates edible works of art and serves them with a delightful sense of humor.
Don’t wait to book your next date night at Butcher & Bull. Visit www.butcherandbull.com or call the restaurant 336-722-5232 to reserve a table. Find Butcher & Bull at 425 N. Cherry Street in Winston-Salem, and check out the Butcher & Bull team on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @butcherandbull.