Macellaio was opened in the end of June 2018 by David and Jennifer Uygur, the owners of the ultra popular Lucia. It is also in the Bishop Arts district but a more casual place with lots of small plates to share. There are a limited number of tables available for reservations and a large bar and patio seating available for walk-ins. Bare wood tables are set with a nice cloth napkin and the ceiling is open to expose the ductwork. Lots of hard surfaces are ready to create a significant noise level but it was not a problem when we were there as the place wasn’t full yet. The menu is printed daily with a good number of choices, half of which are the salumi offerings. They do offer a family style dinner for the table where the chef will make your selections for you but we opted to pick our plates and utilized some advice from our friendly server.
We started a spritz from their cocktail menu and it was refreshing and tasty. With it we had Sofia goat cheese, pears and thyme which was really good. The pears were very flavorful and went great with the soft tasty cheese. It came with some slices of toasted bread which were also good.
With the cheese we had plates of Mortadella and Culatello. The Mortadella was smoked and studded with pistachios. It was wonderful – the best bologna ever. The Culatello was made from a well marbled cut of the hind leg of ham that was aged for over a year. It was tasty and full of flavor. The three options went well together.
The Crostini with chicken liver mousse and carrot-cardamon-lemon marmalade was wonderful. The mousse was smooth and delicious and the relish was divine. It really set off the mildly flavored mousse which was served with ungreasy crostini. It was a treat.
White Bean aligot with shell beans, garlic and herbs was served as the beans in a bowl and a cheese topping was in a separate pan. The cheese was poured on the beans tableside in a show of white stringy goodness. It sat on the top of the beans but with a little stirring it melded into the soft tasty mixture below to yield something wonderful. It was creamy and packed with flavor and texture. I never imagined it’d be that good but it was. Don’t miss this when you go.
Cured Arctic Char was plated with fennel, marinated celtuce (stem lettuce) and smoked scallop aioli. This was the only let down as the aioli was on the salty side and combined with the smokey char it was a bit too much. The fennel was quite nice and the char really didn’t have a strong taste. This one might be better on another night.
Grilled Texas okra, Cutie Pie, Mad Hatter and Aconcagua sweet peppers were served with macha aioli. The peppers exceeded the number of okra and they were blistered perfectly. A nice spicy sauce was underneath and worked well with the vegetables. It was a pretty dish with lots of color and tasty but didn’t have the wow of some of the earlier dishes.
What did have wow was the A Bar N Wagyu beef short rib, red onions, rapini, almonds and pimento peppers. It was excellent. The beef was extremely well marbled, succulent and savory. The vegetables it came with were made into a tasty relish and then all was topped with delicious cooked red onions. The almonds in the relish gave it a crunch and the dish was just plain lip-smacking good.
For dessert we had the sourdough donuts with peanut butter and honey. They were dense freshly made rounds of goodness topped with a praline honey. The peanut butter smear was tasty on its own but equally good to rub the donuts in. It was thinned enough that scooping was easy and didn’t tear the tender donut. The donuts were gooey and doughy but not greasy and fried to a perfect crisp. This was a unique dish with shades of curry flavor in the honey. A strong finish to a really tasty meal.