Scientists speculate that eating meat helped humans evolve larger brains, leading to such important inventions as the wheel, chocolate-chip pancakes, and sausage on a stick. Satiate both gray matter and taste buds with today's Groupon: for $30, you get $60 worth of Italian fare at The Butcher Block in Northeast Minneapolis.
Named for chef Filippo Caffari's nearly 20-year stint as a master butcher in Rome, The Butcher Block emphasizes organic, grass-fed, and sustainable meats that the staff cuts, grinds, and cures on-site. Like an oil-drizzled flag of the homeland, the patriotic carpaccio plate kicks off the menu with shaved raw tenderloin, parmesan-cheese slivers, and chopped arugula ($11). Other antipasti aces include grilled octopus in lemon and olive oil ($13) and pork-and-ricotta meatballs in tomato sauce ($12).
The next act of the meat ballet stars hearty prima donnas such as New York strip ($23) and lamb scottadito ($23), lamb chops tiptoeing through cannellini beans and pancetta. Diners with pescatarian tendencies, or those whose canine teeth are in the shop, turn to spaghetti mediterranean, noodles canoodling with rock shrimp, eggplant, and tomato ($16), or mushroom risotto, creamy rice packed with three types of 'shrooms, caramelized onions, and parmesan ($14).
Amid the cozy trattoria-inspired atmosphere, The Butcher Block's wine list boasts libations from Italy and beyond, with 18 reds and whites available by the glass (starting at $5), as well as a battalion of bottles (starting at $12).
Forty-six Yelpers give The Butcher Block an average of three stars:
The Butcher Block Restaurant
For nearly two decades, Chef Filippo Caffari mastered the skills of butchery in Rome. Since relocating to Minneapolis, the executive chef of The Butcher Block Restaurant draws upon that training to prepare a range of organic, grass-fed, and sustainable meats. On his authentic Italian menu, mashed potatoes and mushrooms accompany lamb scottadito, and house-ground pork sausage flavors a rigatoni in a truffle cream sauce.
Even without meat, Chef Filippo brings out Italy's flavors with items like butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter and sage sauce. He concludes meals with desserts such as tiramisu infused with housemade limoncello and zucchini cake. To complement these delicacies, guests can peruse a wine list that features bottles from around the world.
308 E Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414Get Directions