I’d heard good things about Butcher and Brewer, so dug my passport out and went to meet friends at Petone.
B&B is the reincarnation of the old Empire tavern (same owners), and has a nice warm vibe, with decor that made me think of the many swizzy suburban pubs done up in recent years by the breweries or other local cooperatives (gastropub being the technical term these days).
Their point of difference is that they’re into meat, traceable to the grower or supplier, and braised, smoked or slow roasted themselves.
There’s a fair range of mainstream beers and wines, and a selection of cocktails, cocktails, shooters and non-alcs. I had a chuckle at the Bloody Butcher cocktail (equal parts of pepper and citron vodka with spiced tomato juice, worchester sauce and lime served with celery, spinach and crispy smoked bacon) and then settled for a Mac’s ginger beer (driving) which wouldn’t overpower the food.
Most of the meals were served on wooden boards (very appealing), and all had some degree of smokiness. Like many other places these days, a mac’n’cheese side is de rigeur. The half porker was judged moist and satisfying, the cheeky chicken (infused with basil and wrapped in bacon) also moist and flavourful, and both boys commented on the pleasant spinach (what?!). The chargrilled haloumi on spiced butternut puree with spinach and oil got the big thumbs up and the house smoked meatloaf sliders also hit the spot nicely. The side salads were well dressed (not overdressed) and included many crisp colours and textures.
Although the restaurant area was full, we could easily hear each other and the background was just a nice ambient buzz, along with a bit of retro toe-tapping music and associated videos on the wall to reminisce to.
B&B have a children’s menu, and a number of nooks and crannies if you want a more private or large group session, and various weekday specials. Hard not to be pleased here really.
7 days from 10am (Fri/Sat/Sun) or 11am (rest week).