This week, Boulder County’s only whole-animal butcher and dry-cured meat shop opened as an extension of chef Hosea Rosenberg’s renowned restaurant, Blackbelly Market. Offering lamb, pork, and beef, the shop isn’t just serving up choice cuts wrapped in butcher paper. Rather, guests can experience breakfast, lunch and a forthcoming happy hour to enjoy the all-day menu of breakfast burritos, sandwiches and other bites in the 32-seat space, with an additional 30 seats on the back patio.
The expansion came as a result of demand for the popular grab-and-go program that was already in place next door at Blackbelly Market as well as a need for more space to do the butchery and curing programs justice. “This really puts validity behind it,” said Rosenberg. “There was an overlap in lunch and dinner to where we had people prepping for dinner bumping elbows with a butcher. It was just really crowded for everyone over there.
While Rosenberg is the executive chef and owner of the restaurant, head butcher Nate Singer is at the helm of the butchery program. Working with local and regional purveyors, Singer brings his hometown expertise to the table. Wyoming native and former sous chef under Rosenberg, Singer and the Blackbelly team break down whole cows from his home state’s Carter Country along with pigs from Colorado’s McDonald Family Farm and lamb from Boulder Lamb. Aside from its conscientiously sourced livestock, Blackbelly also works with the Real Dill, Grateful Bread Company, Breadworks, Garcia’s Bakery, and Boulder Canyon Authentic Foods to make the experience as local as it gets.
Count on more than carefully curated cuts of the aforementioned meats in their raw form at Blackbelly Butcher Shop. Breakfast burritos, pastries, sandwiches, and house-made sundries such as terrines, pates, and deli meats sculpt the expansive menu at Blackbelly Butcher. A stacked roast beef sandwich ($14) rivals those I’ve noshed on in New York, while the muffaletta ($14)—Rosenberg’s personal favorite—takes taste buds to New Orleans with house-cured capicola, mortadella, and genoa salami topped with Swiss cheese, and olive relish on foccacia bread. If you’re not quite in the mood for the hearty lamb meatball grinder ($10) grab the meatballs from the deli case and make a meal with them at home.
With a number of butcher shops and delis popping up around Denver, it would seem that the concept of a whole animal butchery program and dry-cured meats would be nothing new to Boulder. However, Blackbelly is the only one of its kind. “No other mom-and-pop shop in Boulder is doing this,” said Rosenberg. “If you want a good cut of meat, you have to go to Whole Foods [Market].” Blackbelly offers a butcher shop experience you don’t get at the grocery store. Singer breaks down whole animals behind the counter while you order your sandwich of house-cured deli meats. “This is all about transparency,” said Singer. “There’s nothing to hide back here.”
Expect more from Blackbelly Butcher, as the breakfast menu is set to expand with the addition of Rosenberg’s Bagels, extended hours into the weekends and a happy hour menu with beer, wine, cocktails and small bites to enjoy on the back patio.
All photos by Charles Hildreth