The Butcher Shop

By Catherine Smart   South End · Steakhouse · Wine Bar · $$$

Skip the corporate-chain steakhouses. Some of the best cuts in town are found at an intimate neighborhood spot owned by the godmother of Boston hospitality, Barbara Lynch. The Butcher Shop is a wine bar and restaurant with an Old-World Italian-French feel. It’s a neighborhood favorite that’s been a fixture in the beating, brownstoned heart of the South End since 2003.

Loosen your tie after work or put on pearls, because this boucherie is a place to dress up or down for. Share steaks and crisp potatoes with your date or dive into bowl of Tagliatelle Bolognese solo alongside a glass of something big and red. Chat with the bartender about music or amari. Nibble on a Salumi board with your neighbor. The only rule might be this: Don’t bring a vegetarian, at least not one you want to like you.

No, you won’t find plush booths or three-martini power-lunches here (it’s a dinner and weekend brunch spot), but Lynch channels her own version of that low lit, nod-to-the-masculine steakhouse vibe. There’s a commanding slate wall displaying a steer divided into numbered cuts, an epic wine list, and the room’s centerpiece, a butcher block often piled high with house-cured meats, cheeseboards, and antipasti.

You may have come for dinner, but you’re going to get educated, too. Cooks break down primal cuts of meat in full view of guests, so you can see just where that locally raised chop came from. Cheeses are cut from the wheel and served at peak, oozing ripeness. Your server has feelings about the wine. The restaurant’s logo is a hog with a bite taken out of it, and the check arrives with a postcard reading “I heart meat.”

We heart a restaurant that knows exactly what it’s about, and isn’t afraid to tell you.

Consider the nightly wine specials. Look to the slate wall behind the bar for a list of seasonal and artisanal pours the staff is excited about.

Wow your guests without the work. You can order the Bolognese sauce, Spicy Tomato Soup, or Charcuterie to take home (for entertaining—or just for yourself).

Looking to impress a date? Your bestie? Your mom? You’re splitting the 32/48 oz Prime Dry Aged Rib Eye for two. It’s a celebration in steak form and requires a partner to tackle.

Must Haves

  • Lynch’s umami-packed signature meat sauce cloaks silky ribbons of homemade pasta.

  • Don’t flinch from the obvious. Whether you go for the leaner-but-beefy Prime Sirloin or a well-marbled Prime Rib Eye, this is the place to satisfy carnivorous steak cravings.

  • The rotating charcuterie plate selections are substantial enough to make a meal. Just add salad, wine, and friends.

Fun Fact

The wine list features over 100 wines, many of which are available by the glass. Don’t be shy about asking for help finding a perfect match for your order.

Tastes of The Butcher Shop

So good we can't stop writing about it. Read more about The Butcher Shop!

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