Most of the time, my brother and I drink beers and pair them with other beers. Food generally isn’t a part of the equation when we’re tasting. Usually we’re at a brewery and we don’t order food to bring in, or we’re at our respective abodes, drinking a few before dinner. When we’re out at restaurants, there isn’t exactly a thought process behind what food we would like to eat with the available beers on tap. To put it simply, we don’t like to think that much.
That’s for the people behind the scenes to worry about. Thankfully, most of the time, if not all the time we’ve put our faith into some pretty smart and able folks. One of our favorite places to frequent would be Plan B in Simsbury. Their location is close for both of us, and the beer/whiskey selection is top notch. Pair that with some amazing burgers and we’re sold (not to mention a side order of truffle fries that seem to be ordered religiously).
So, when we heard the owners of Plan B (along with a few other restaurants) were opening a whole new restaurant, obviously it piqued our interest. Not sure what to expect, we decided to attend the soft opening and scope the menu along with the beer menu and find out what Butcher’s and Bakers is all about.
Located in Farmington in place of the former Maratta’s Front Row space at The Exchange on Farmington Ave. B&B distanced itself from the sports bar feel of its predecessor and instead opt for a more rustic feel that’s achieved through exposed brick and reclaimed wood interior.
The menu runs the gamut from pizzas, to pork chops, to new American-inspired dishes. Shared plates are fair priced and full of options that will have you fighting over the last piece of fennel stuffed mushroom. Entrees include mouth-watering options such as; grilled native swordfish, pork chops, ribeye steak, and much more. The cocktails are out of control, the wine list is extensive, and the spirits (bourbon and tequila) are of great quality.
But what about the beer? I hear you dedicated loyal reader. The beer list is interesting, unlike Plan B, Butcher’s and Bakers plans to focus on Euro-style session beers. Not Euro-style as in everything is European, but just as the way they do things across the pond. Most beers will sit around the 4-5% ABV range as a way to accentuate the food, as well as help guests explore the taplist a bit more freely. Any place can saddle up a list of IIPA’s and fill the bar, but after a few, you’re A) probably not good to drive, and B) not experiencing the bar as the staff would’ve intended.
Our undying loyalty to Connecticut craft beer stayed strong on the opening night when we saw the unmistakable Lawsons Finest tap handle stick out amongst other company. Sip of Sunshine was in the house, but we chose to stick to the plan and order something from the great state of CT. Lil’ Heaven, a Session IPA from Two Roads was the perfect co-pilot on this journey.
Lil’ Heaven has all the aromatics of a fine IPA, with subtle citrus and a soft hint of melon. When the thermometer gets above 75 degrees, expect a 12-pack of these lil’ guys in my fridge fairly consistently. With enough flavor to fool the average beer drinker into thinking it’s a standard IPA, but the percentage (4.8% ABV) to have a few, Lil’ Heaven is an excellent choice when you visit B&B.
We chowed down on a fennel sausage pizza and enjoyed our beers. As we drank in the atmosphere we could immediately tell Butcher’s and Bakers was going to be an absolute hit. With the restaurant fully opened as of April 8th, we advise you to check their website (www.butchersandbakers.com) and visit the newest restaurant/bar in Farmington, you’ll be glad you did.
BUTCHERS & BAKERS
TWO ROADS - LIL' HEAVEN