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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

30 Restaurants in 30 Days: The Butcher The Baker

Sweetbread with cipollini onions and blueberry mostarda

Sweetbread with cipollini onions and blueberry mostarda

This months-old venue on Marietta Square has “instant hit” written all over it. The Butcher The Baker replaces the former Simpatico with a country-cool look that uses unfinished wood, Mason jars, soft golden lighting and an antique drinks fridge to place things clearly in Southern farm-to-table territory. Married owners Micah (the butcher) and Katie (the baker) Pfister get their produce from the same local farmers who supply the Marietta Farmers Market, according our waiter. Everything is made from scratch from the baker’s bun croutons garnishing the heirloom tomato salad to the berry mostarda set over crunchy little nuggets of sweetbreads.

The bourbon cocktails were tasty and strong, and our waiter (though a bit harried) did an excellent job of communicating the personality of the restaurant and the details of the food and drink. I don’t want to sound too snotty here, but it felt like intown rather than suburban service.

Same goes for the menu, which bristles with the kind of edgy, intriguing ideas you’d associate with Empire State South or One Eared Stag. The kitchen doesn’t execute its food with the finesse of either of those restaurants, but I think it shows potential.

Pan-seared flounder with mirepoix faro and Sungold tomato jam

Pan-seared flounder with mirepoix faro and Sungold tomato jam

I best liked our entrees. This oil-crisped piece of fish paired nicely with its bed of celery- and carrot-studded farro. The jam on the side was sweet enough to make you want peanut butter, and the little tomato skins had toughened considerably during cooking.

Seared duck breast with caraway cabbage, cherry gastrique and cornbread puree

Seared duck breast with caraway cabbage, cherry gastrique and cornbread puree

This duck dish was all-around yumstown, with an umami hit of beech mushrooms and a sweet-tart balance to the cherry sauce, so it played well with others. That cornbread puree was a delicious backdrop, and it did a brilliant job of bridging Southern and German flavors. We need more of this kind of cooking in Atlanta.

Boiled green peanut hummus

Boiled green peanut hummus

The menu goes ham on small plates and sharesies — just the kind of food you want when you’re sitting at that inviting bar — but our choices didn’t deliver as well as we had hoped. This salt-lick hummus didn’t do justice to the tasty strips of warm flatbread. Good idea, needs work.

Pickled shrimp with melon and feta

Pickled shrimp with melon and feta

Springy shrimp, unripe melon cubes, dry feta nuggets and old-fashioned, spice-heavy watermelon rind pickle. Hmmm….

bologna, charred okra, creole mustard

bologna, charred okra, creole mustard

Cool idea, but the house-made bologna was grainy and one piece was (yikes) a bit raw in the center. The components on the plate need to communicate with each other as those on the duck entree did so well.

Cane syrup pudding with braised figs

Cane syrup pudding with braised figs

Desserts end the meal on high note. We really enjoyed this creamy cane syrup pudding as well as a warm peach brown butter tart in a well-constructed pâte sablée crust — cohesive but fragile enough cut and crumble with a fork. The warm house rolls were terrific, as well.

The energy in this room is palpable, and I don’t mean in a shrieky bar-scene way, but in a Marietta’s-where-it’s-happening way. This is where interesting folks come out to play, and I bet their feedback will make this restaurant get better by the day. Check it.

- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog

9 comments Add your comment

Samurai

August 5th, 2013
12:48 pm

Would have liked better pictures. Maybe it was the lighting but they all looked like they were taken on a phone.

I WALKED AWAY HUNGRY

August 5th, 2013
12:55 pm

Ridiculously small portions from starters to entrees to desserts. They do have a way with the bourbon, I must admit.

OK, I know I wasn’t going to the Golden Corral feeding trough, but the duck looked lost on that plate. What’s old joke? Server: “How did you find the duck, sir?” Me: “I looked under the parsley”.

Bryan

August 5th, 2013
1:44 pm

I’m headed to Yumtown for some sharesies.

JB

August 5th, 2013
1:48 pm

Indeed the freshest ingredients and from local farmers nonetheless. I see Katie and Micah every Saturday shopping the streets of the Marietta square farmers market for inspiration on their next dishes. As a Marietta local I can only hope this catches on and inspires other great places on the square. Keep up the good work!

Kevin O.

August 5th, 2013
4:05 pm

Looking Good Marietta! I hope you guys kill it!

Art

August 5th, 2013
6:15 pm

“I don’t want to sound too snotty here, but it felt like intown rather than suburban service.” Hmmmm John! I’d be interested to learn what constitutes intown service versus suburban service and above all else, isn’t good service what we all want? This city will never grow outside of its tiny I-285 confines if everyone continues to stir the same old ITP/OTP pot. That said, I’ll have to hitch up the mule to the wagon and make a day’s journey over to that Mar-eee-eh-tah place and try me some of them there victuals.;>)

Baltisraul....

August 6th, 2013
3:37 pm

John….we all yearn for the suburban service, I agree!

Smarty

August 10th, 2013
5:48 pm

The food is great. Drinks are as well and worth it. Wine selection for their foods is spot on.
Great place for all OF ATLANTA and as well for the square of Marietta. Well done.

Boss Likes Wine

August 11th, 2013
2:13 pm

A great addition to the Square! We are fortunate that the food finally matches the outstanding serving team. We have been going to Simpatico/Willie Rae’s for 10+ years and kept going for the people. Bryan the bartender is one of the best, along with the others who know their customers by name and treat them like family. Katie’s father is also involved with the business and is always walking around, talking to customers and making everyone feel welcome. So nice to have such a talented couple paired with an amazing service team.