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Butcher Block Grill

7000 West Camino Real, Boca Raton (in the Fountains Center), 561-409-3035

 
 
  
 
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By Jana Soeldner Danger

  

Those who are part of the growing number of diners who care where their food comes from will appreciate Butcher Block Grill. The recently opened Boca Raton eatery in The Fountains Center serves humanely raised meats and poultry, all of it antibiotic and hormone free, wild caught fish and produce from Florida farms.

But even without this most important feature, Butcher Block would be a winner.

The food we had was excellent. So was the service the night we were there. Granted, it was not a busy evening, but even so, servers seemed very professional, knowledgeable and eager to provide an enjoyable dining experience. Those are qualities likely to be apparent regardless of whether or not the dining room is crowded.

The decor is also pleasing. On one side of the dining room is a long, open kitchen with a counter separating it from the eating area; a prime spot to sit and watch the chefs prepare your dinner. On the other side of the room is another softly illuminated counter with an outdoor view. A little farther down, wide French doors open to the covered patio overlooking piazza-style fountains, so the indoor and outdoor spaces seem to merge. In the center of the room are dark woodden  tables. Open duct work on the ceiling adds an urban feel.

Butcher Block offers two wine lists, one with moderately priced, mostly familiar pours, and the other with more expensive selections from small-production vineyards. A meal begins with some very good house-made crusty bread,   served with olive oil for dipping.

Appetizers

Fans of fresh mozzarella will want to try it here. A server brings it warm to the table and pulls it by hand while you watch, explaining the history of the cheese as he does so.  It is served with flavorful heirloom tomatoes and micro basil dressed with olive oil and vincotto vinegar.

The wild mushroom flatbread had a crispy, house-made crust topped with a medley of crimini, shiitake, royal trumpet and oyster mushrooms, along with braised red onions, truffle aïoli and Asiago cheese. It was very good, and there was more than enough to share.

Other appetizers include beef carpaccio, prosciutto with cantaloupe and honey dew melon, tuna crudo, and lump crab cakes.

Entrees

At a place called the Butcher Block, it seems mandatory to order a steak. We chose a bone-in tenderloin ($60), a special that evening. It was, in a word, delicious, wonderfully juicy and tender and intensely flavorful. Like all the steaks ($29-$60) on the menu, it is served with high fat butter mixed with rendered meat trimmings, salt, shallots, garlic and chives. A tasty addition.

Meat at the Butcher Block is excellent, but so is seafood. The Chilean sea bass ($32) was a firm, thick cut that was perfectly flaky and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The accompanying sauce made with butter, garlic, shallots, olive oil, garlic and thyme, accented with heirloom tomatoes, was a perfect accompaniment.

Among the other entrees are rotisserie chicken ($20), grilled lamb chops ($30), veal chop ($40), wild snapper ($25), pasta with clams ($22), and kebobs with steak ($24), chicken ($17) or shrimp ($23).

Desserts

Goat cheese cheesecake ($11) was a nice twist on the classic, adding a slightly musky tang to the sweetness of cream cheese. Other choices are lava cake ($9) and shortcake ($10) with seasonal berries. 

Butcher Block Grill offers very good food, an attractive setting and good service. Once you try it, you’ll want to return again.

 

 

 

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Butcher Block Grill

 7000 West Camino Real, Boca Raton (in the Fountains Center) - 561-409-3035

Hours: Lunch, Sun.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; dinner Sun.-Thur. 5-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5-10 p.m.

Prices: Appetizers$9-$15; Entrees $20-$79; desserts $9-$11

Liquor: Full bar

Ambience: Casual chic