A surprise and a delight on an unassuming side street in Montpelier (Vermont), Beau Butchery and Bar reminds me of a Paris wine bar, where high quality food and drink are served simply, and the clientele are regulars.
I return most often for the charcuterie. One night recently, my husband and I tucked into silky chicken liver pâté, traditional pork rillettes, and marvelous house-smoked salmon, accompanied by a lesser-known French wine from the Jura mountains.
Nearby, two women gossiped over plates of French Kiss oysters and glasses of cava. One of the women works down the street, and stops in at least once a week.
Across the narrow room, a couple who had left their young kids at home sat at a table fashioned from an ironing board. They celebrated their freedom with mid-century cocktails, oysters, and bowls of long-simmered beef broth, brimming with noodles and fermented cabbage. Beau is their favorite date-night spot.
Home cooks came and left in a steady stream, lining up at the meat counter for dry aged, pastured pork, cut-to-order Vermont beef steaks, locally grown roasting chickens, hand cut bacon, and jars of nutrient-rich broth. Jules, Beau’s co-owner and affable butcher, offered cooking tips and asked after friends and family members.
With seating for 10, shelves of vintage glassware, bovine artwork, and stacks of meat-centric cookbooks for browsing, Beau is indeed beau — beautiful — a bit of urban Paris in small town Vermont.