Monday, January 8, 2018

Welcome to Butcher & Bee (Nashville)

Butcher & Bee had already made a name for itself after dominating the Charleston market as a destination sandwich shop on a less-desirable stretch of King Street. So it came as no surprise when the second location opened in a comparable area of Nashville, a place that bears many similarities to the Holy City (particularly in the dining realm). In spite of the light foot traffic on Main St., Butcher & Bee came out the gate swinging, ready to make its mark on the town. At nearly triple the size of the South Carolina flagshp, the new location—which debuted in early 2016—has more than enough space to accommodate hungry diners who gravitate to its delightful interior, open kitchen, cozy booths, and farm-driven menu with an array of Middle Eastern-inspired snacks, sandwiches, and soups. It's hard to go wrong at this foodie haven, but if you can only pick one thing, order the creamy butternut squash soup—it's more the consistency of a custard and, simply put, divine.

The format is similar to the South Carolina original, offering a selection of snacks, sandwiches and small plates with a Middle Eastern influence. And while the two share some dishes, such as the pulled squash sandwich, the Nashville outpost goes lighter in the bites between bread category and heavier on the vegetable-focused snacks and shared plates, allowing executive chef Bryan Lee Weaver to bring in his influences from time spent on the West Coast.

The restaurant space itself is a major departure from the original, nearly triple the size at almost 3,800 square feet, and offering seating for approximately 80 in a wide variety of options. From booths to two-tops to community tables to bar seating. With numerous big booths and a table for 12, this is a suitable spot for groups. Natural light floods in from the front and back while overhead lighting beams down from the high, industrial ceilings. Earthy tones, including greens and browns, are used throughout. The tiled logo on the rear wall is a highlight.

“We are a full-service restaurant with a full bar,” said owner Michael Shemtov. “If you’ve been to the Charleston location, the vibe and food are familiar, but the setting, table service and full-bar are enhancements.”

Shemtov expressed his gratitude and excitement for the Nashville location. “We are really humbled by the enthusiasm and welcome we’ve gotten in East Nashville."

A recent guest had this to say about the establishment:

"Just had our tenth anniversary dinner at this place while we were in town. If you get the chance, sit at the chef table; it is an absolutely wonderful experience with individuals who are both passionate and talented at what they do. It's a joy to see everyone working as a team and we got to enjoy some side dishes as well. Overall the entirety of the staff made our night an incredible experience. This is on top of the absolutely incredible food. There is seriously nothing I dislike about this place and heavily, heavily, heavily recommend anyone to come have a wonderful dinner here. Thank you for making our ten year anniversary something to remember for years and years. Long live Butcher & Bee!" 

So if you're ever in Nashville Tennessee, treat yourself to some good food & good people, stop by Butcher & Bee!