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You may have been driving past the space for months, wondering what it would become.

Friday Nov. 17  is the day! The day the Birch + Butcher restaurant (459 E. Pleasant St.) embarks on something called a beginning. Many eyes have been on this first-floor space in the North End Apartments on Water and Pleasant (months of papered windows kept the evolving interior from prying eyes like mine). 

Executive chef/co-owner Miles Borghgraef (a former chef de cuisine at Lake Park Bistro) and partner Rebecca Zwiefelhofer have been meticulously planning every detail. The B+B staff opened its retail shop last weekend (Nov. 11), selling fresh and cured meats – both made on premises and by Madison’s Underground Meats (known for incredible hard salamis, soft, spreadable nduja and others). It gave neighbors the chance to show off the space’s sleek interior.      

The Midwestern menu, showcasing the wood-fired hearth in the center of the open kitchen, starts with various little bites, including charcuterie, charred squash with squash butter and togarashi, BBQ parsnips with harissa and yogurt, green chorizo with green mustard, and lamb tartare with lemongrass, malted cashews and crispy onions ($1-$9). Larger creations range from sunflower seed risotto with king trumpet mushrooms and sweet and sour herring on toast with egg and onions to butter-poached steelhead trout with lardo and salsa verde ($12-$18). The largest plates are aged pork chops with baked beans and onions, seared brisket steak with cabbage and agro dolce, meatballs with sweet potato ketchup and funyans, and birch syrup-glazed 3BF chicken with roast carrots and chestnuts and others ($15-$26)  

Hours: Mon-Thurs 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (butcher shop menu only).

Make a reservation online or at 414-323-7372. 

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