April 7, 2010

What's Good Here? New York Butcher Shoppe & Grille

Brand new to the area is a big-city concept of a full-fledged butcher shop and deli by day and a casual yet sophisticated dining spot at night.

What's good here?

When you ask the manager of a butcher shop/restaurant, "What's good here?" the natural response is - and should be, of course - the meats. The meats are the stars at this shop and restaurant that opened in March in Lake Carolina's Town Center. As manager Kacey Carbery pointed out, "There are more varieties of beef and meats here than at any other restaurant in the area."

Just with beef, there are at least half a dozen options, including porterhouse, filet mignon and beef brisket, as well as beef ground on site. Other types of meat, available to buy in the butcher shop and then filleted, pounded, sliced, etc., any way a customer chooses, include pork, chicken, veal, lamb, quail, duck and buffalo. In the evenings, these meats are featured on the menu and as specials on giant blackboards.

What else?

Some of the appetizers in the evenings feature a heated or chilled Himalayan salt block. The Kobe Trip-tip Filet, for example, is served on a hot salt block "cooked tabletop by your inner chef in soy glaze." A hint of the salt from the block seeps into the beef just before it is eaten.

Sirloin beef for the enormous burgers is ground daily. Buns and other breads are baked fresh daily. Then there are the specials. Recently, the board featured these: appetizer - portobello mushrooms with Cajun-style beef tenderloin, fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, finished with a citrus creme; entree - smoked chicken with applewood smoked bacon and gouda served on roasted corn and asparagus rice pilaf; and pasta - bacon, lobster and a tomato basil cream sauce served over three-cheese ravioli.

For kids, there are sliders, franks, sirloin steaks and build-your-own macaroni and cheese or spaghetti and marinara (made fresh on site).

Both a regular and a featured cheesecake are made daily, as are carrot cakes, triple chocolate brownies and vanilla bean and bourbon pecan pies.

What does the place look like?

It is situated in one of the old-style architecture buildings of the Lake Carolina Town Center, which aims to create a village feel for the community. Inside, the restaurant has high black ceilings with exposed pipes, mustard walls, black tables and comfortable upholstered bench seating with large pillows against every wall. The butcher shop/deli has cases of meats and other food items. A large bar is situated at the back of the restaurant. The restaurant seats 60.

How did New York Butcher Shoppe & Grille come about?

"(Franchisee and director of sales) Eddie Hargett approached me about taking the butcher shop and deli concept and adding the grill concept," Carbery said.

The New York Butcher Shoppe is a Greenville-based franchise with 12 locations in the Southeast. For 15 months, Hargett worked on a "blended model" concept that would include the restaurant.

"We just thought that with all the high-quality cheeses, butters and wines, plus the meats, that having a restaurant with it is a no-brainer," Carbery said.

"Typically, you only see this type of concept in big cities, such as Atlanta, Charlotte or New York. Eddie really wanted an upscale, but friendly neighborhood restaurant."

Carbery, who grew up in a family of restaurateurs, trained as a pastry chef and has extensive experience working in steakhouses, believes this is a concept that the area needs and will appreciate.

Why do you close for dinner on Mondays and Tuesdays?

"We're reserving those nights for cooking classes, wine and cheese tastings, guest chefs, and so that the dining room can be reserved for meetings, receptions, and other events," Hargett said.

Who eats here?

"We have a captive audience right here," Carbery said. "People are walking here, having a glass of wine, dinner or just appetizers, at night. People come here and get cuts of meat for their dinners or a sandwich for lunch. There's been a fantastic response from people in Lake Carolina and the surrounding area. This is a nice place for them to come, instead of driving into downtown Columbia."


Where: Lake Carolina Town Center, 5 Lake Carolina Way

Hours: Butcher Shoppe, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday; lunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday; dinner, 5-10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Prices: Appetizers are in the $7.95 to $9.95 range, while a burger is $9.95. Entrees are priced from $9.95 to $26.95.

More information:

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