In hindsight it seems kind of crazy that I went to Boston and didn't eat a single oyster or clam, but at least I managed to get a little lobster in me via an appetizer at the wedding I attended. (Lobster, I don't love. Crab I would eat by the bushel, but lobster is one of those foods I usually have to act excited about while secretly not seeing the big whoop.)
We were in Boston for all of 36 hours, so I didn't get that many opportunities to sample local fare, but I did manage to haul Kevin with me to the South End for dinner at The Butcher Shop. I don't know squat about Boston, except that the North End is where you go for Italian food. I'd heard that the South End was sort of an up and coming foodie area, and all of the restaurants owned by the No. 9 group looked really, really good -- I pushed for B&G but Kevin really liked the idea of a wine bar/charcuterie combo, especially one with a house hot dog (which we saw on neighboring tables but did not order for reasons unknown). B&G is, incidentally, across the street from The Butcher Shop, and looked adorable. Also, packed.
The Butcher Shop is on the corner of Waltham and Tremont, and has a bar, a few little high bar tables, and a brilliant large open butcher block table where guests can have a glass of wine or browse the deli case and preserves, chutneys and honey for sale. There is a wall covered in chalkboard paint with wine specials scrawled on it, there are lots of cheeses and cured meats to pick and choose from, there are also some tasty options on the dinner menu, all reasonably priced and all easy to share.
Between the two of us, we had baby back ribs (falling off the bone good, although a little too sweet and heavy on the sauce for me), chick pea fritters with mint-yogurt sauce (meh), arugula salad with burrata cheese drizzled with lemon juice and house-made honey (DIVINE), house-cured olives (briny and citrusy and good!), and a charcuterie plate, which, along with the fresh-baked Irish soda bread that comes with sea salt-sprinkled butter and more of the house-made honey, was the perfect amount of food for the two of us. I had a glass of an Italian white wine, and then a Cotes Du Provence rose; Kevin had a glass of Bordeaux. The vibe was friendly and casual, and the close dining quarters felt fun and intimate, not crowded. A lot of other diners (and drinkers) were starting off their nights with cheese and wine, and I have to say that the idea of a restaurant geared towards charcuterie plates and wine is really quite brilliant.
Our entire bill was under $100, and I'd definitely go back to The Butcher Shop if I were in Boston again. I'm even more eager to try B&G, but I'd go back to The Butcher Shop in a heartbeat, for sure! The Butcher Shop (617.423.4800) is located at 552 Tremont Street and accepts all major credit cards.