butcher & singer

i’m going to be honest with you – that last one was a tough act to follow (both the restaurant and the review), but I’ll give it a shot!

Butcher & Singer, as recommended by our (ph)ine Philly B&B host Dennis, is not your average steakhouse. Far in excess of your average Del Frisco’s or Smith & Wollensky $60 steak chain, this is “an homage to old Hollywood”, resplendent in outrageously high ceilings and marble columns, with a smoky jazz ambience (minus the smoke, luckily) completed by your classic dogs-playing-poker on the walls. All-in-all, despite the old-timey (read: inconveniently pretentious) website, the decor and atmosphere made the whole experience far more fun and exciting than you’d expect for the price. To be clear, that is definitely a good thing.

But you didn’t come here to read my (woefully ignorant) opinions on interior design.

Luckily, the food was definitely up to scratch.

Undeterred by our inadvertent feast at Sabrina’s earlier in the day, Mum’s eyes were probably a little larger than our stomachs, and, already full on delicious warm bread (take a hint, Sepia)


we found ourselves with two tasty starters (appetizers? screw it, they’re entrées):


Oysters Rockefeller, battered and fried, topped with a light dill cream, chive, and caviar. Very cool, very different, very American, and probably not my favourite way to enjoy my favourite mollusc. As with mornay, the oyster flavour and freshness tends to get lost in there. Still, definitely worth having.


Salad (The Wedge? I forget, the Alzheimer’s is kicking in already…), with feta, fennel and tomato – a rich and, again in my mind, American adaptation of my number 1 caprese salad. Tasty, simple, and given my recent acceptance of raw fennel, a good pick. Fresh ingredients = good taste. Simple! (though definitely a more elusive concept here in the States…)

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the main event you’ve all been waiting for; the centrepiece of our visit here tonight…

… our good friend, mr Porterhouse:

IMG_1311  IMG_1313

(a.k.a. one of the best damn steaks I’ve tasted)

Beautiful char, knockout flavour, blushing meat – I mean, a good steak is a good steak is a good steak, but still. This was a damn good steak.

(shared between two, in case you were worried)

By the end of the night, Porter and I were very well acquainted:




True love.

Unfortunately, I missed a picture of his buddy Delmonico – rest assured, he was equally mindblowing.

As if our stomachs weren’t stretched enough, we also feasted on delicious sides:


Smooth, rich creamed spinach (a necessary alternative to what bordered on too much salt elsewhere) – big plus was the absence of spinach teeth afterwards. Mushrooms & Onions (hold the onions) were a full-flavoured meal in themselves – excuse me a second, just fantasising about tasting them tossed through pasta…


Okay, I’m back. And here with me is the signature Butcher & Singer stuffed hash-brown – a behemoth browned to perfection, stuffed with a creamy, fluffy filling, and, devastatingly, far too much for my poor Australian-sized stomach to handle on the night. A real knockout, but not for the faint of heart.

Special shout out goes to our server, whose name I’ve forgotten and whose photography skills (see below) need work. Still, it was great to hear about your studies at Penn (in… biomedical ethics? pretty cool) and thanks for playing spot-the-Penn-logo… (hint: look up).



I highly recommend you swing by.

Butcher & Singer
1500 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19102


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