Butcher & Bee is about as trendy as they come. Its menu changes daily, it focuses on locally-sourced produce and meat, and it’s open at odd hours. It is one of those restaurants where the hipsters feel at home and us regular folk feel uber hip. In addition to its shabby-chic decor, the food is pretty outstanding.
Charleston has had a bit of a renaissance where food is concerned over the past decade. Everyone from Bon Appetit to Vogue has featured a little slice of the Charleston food scene. Though most everyone has profiled Husk, Sean Brock’s farm-to-table gem, smaller, up-and-coming restaurants like Butcher & Bee really deserve a bit of spotlight, as they are helping boost Charleston’s reputation as a foodie destination and contributing to the gentrification of areas that were decrepit and even a little scary in recent memory.
Every time I’ve ventured up King Street to grab lunch from Butcher & Bee, the restaurant has been packed. Obviously, I am not the first to discover this place. After you’ve chosen from the daily specials, you can fight the competition, jostling fellow customers to swipe a chair at the community table (good luck getting a table to yourself). Though I probably haven’t shared a table with strangers since my sixth grade lunches at School of the Arts, it’s kind of fun and feels like part of the experience at Butcher & Bee.
While you can’t really have a regular order here, the kitchen never fails to churn out intriguing combinations that usually seem to work. My favorite thus far was a pita crammed with roasted veggies, hard boiled eggs, potatoes, and hummus, called the Sabiche, but I didn’t have my camera on that particular trip. The roasted beet sandwich seems to be in semi-regular rotation on their menu, and it too is exceptionally good. Goat pesto is slathered on toasted rustic bread and topped with pine nuts, arugula, and roasted beets. It’s a pretty simple sandwich, but it just works.