Last week, the Wall Street Journal, in an article called "Say Goodbye to the Same Old Steakhouse", named Minneapolis' Butcher & the Boar one of the top 20 great modern meateries. The article draws distinctions between steakhouses of yore and the newer, modern incarnations that are sprouting up all over the United States. The article's author, prominent food journalist and meat enthusiast, Josh Ozersky, heralds in the new era of "Steakhouse 2.0."
"The world around the steakhouse is changing, and the old-school version, with its windowless rooms, blackened slabs of aged beef and phoned-in side dishes, no longer has the luxury-carnivore market to itself. The Steakhouse 2.0 has arrived," says Ozersky.
Some of the other extremely popular "great modern meateries" on Ozersky's list are the Publican and Girl & the Goat in Chicago as well as Animal in Los Angeles.
The article reflects kindly on the traditional steakhouse and the role that it has played throughout the ages, but notes that today's consumer is looking for something more, often in the form of lower priced dishes and an eclectic variety of food.
"A new kind of diner has emerged over the last decade or two, one who follows chefs the way some people follow bands and expects to be not merely satisfied but edified, provoked or at least entertained," says Ozersky.
Ozersky notes several other differences
-- in product quality, variety, and technique -- that distinguish today's modern meateries from the steakhouses of old. "The classic steakhouse is a temple of beef, with a lobster or lamb chop thrown in for the lady. The modern meatery serves a whole bestiary, devoting its energies in equal parts to beef, pork, lamb, veal, various birds, and even some game animals," says Ozersky, "And then there's this: The steakhouse has a guy who throws steaks under a broiler; the meatery has a chef."
Butcher & the Boar, headed up by Minneapolis meat mavens Chef Jack Riebel and Peter Botcher, specializes in a variety of wonderfully smoked, expertly prepared meats and has received numerous awards and accolades for adventures into the wild world of meats. The duo's best known dishes include the succulent smoked beef long rib, the double-cut Berkshire pork chop, and of course, an array of decadent sausages.