The neighborhood butcher shop has practically disappeared with the emergence of the modern supermarket, but we are now seeing a resurgence in the craft and appreciation of meat cutting, with customers loving every juicy morsel. The Butchery Quality Meats is a great example, with three stores—in Costa Mesa, Brea and Newport Coast—offering choice, prime, wagyu and grass-fed beef alongside all-natural pork and chicken. (Full disclosure: I have cut meat for 43 years and was nothing but impressed with the craftsmanship and quality of all the cuts of meat; most impressive was the beautifully marbled grass-fed beef.) It also has a full-service deli featuring Boarshead Deli Meats, a wide selection of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie boards made to order, and a dozen tasty sandwiches. I visited the Newport Coast location and ordered a roast beef sandwich with horseradish Cheddar cheese, onions and horseradish avocado cream on a ciabatta roll and enjoyed it on the patio, where you have a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean and sailboats sailing up and down the coast. The shop is small, but every available inch of shelf space is filled with the latest goods to enhance your main course.
The Butchery Quality Meats is owned by Brian Smith and Robert Hagopian, who’ve hired some of the best to curate the different departments, including the craft-beer section. Each location has a different person in charge of the craft beer, and each one stocks according to what the customers’ likes. Call ahead to find out what’s currently on the shelves or what might be coming in, as the selection rotates so frequently there’s no menu on the website. In Newport Coast, Caleb Slivkoff keeps the latest suds from plenty of local breweries, as well as some hard-to-find brews, stocked and loaded. Recently, he got his hands on some Heady Topper, a double IPA from the Alchemist brewery in Vermont, and it sold out within a few days. Slivkoff’s selection of sours from Beachwood Blendery were calling my name, so I picked up a Funk Salad (6.4 percent ABV), a Belgian-style sour with pluots, peaches, apricots, cherries, blueberries and Grenach grapes aged in oak barrels. Pucker up, people! With all this wonderful fruit, you might expect it to be super-sweet, but instead, the brew offers a balanced blend, with the grapes prominent up front and stone fruit rounding out the body. So delicious, and with a the tartness that leaves you wanting more. I would pair this with some of the Butchery’s all-natural chicken kabobs, which are available along with all your summer-barbecue needs. Cheers!
The Butchery Quality Meats, 8058 Pacific Coast Hwy., Newport Coast, (949) 715-3383; www.butcherymeats.com.