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Tasting Table: A Spring Dinner at The Butcher’s Daughter

As much as the term is overused, I have to admit I’m a foodie. I enjoy cooking new dishes and old favorites, and I absolutely love tasting others’ delicious creations. As a vegetarian, it’s always exciting when a restaurant opens in the LA area with an entire menu that speaks to my tastebuds. The Butcher’s Daughter, which debuted in Venice in January and was conceived by Heather Tierney, is one such place. 

The vegetarian restaurant and juice bar concept hails from New York City, where its two locations are known for the avocado toast with fried egg. Rightfully so—it’s a delicious dish I find myself craving. The location Heather recently opened on Abbot Kinney Boulevard is especially beautiful. It’s a bright, airy and inviting space with cool hanging plants, elegant and refined florals, and other details that serve as home decor inspiration. The all-day restaurant features incredibly creative cocktails—conceived by Venice’s Vagrant Bartenders—and in March launched a seasonal dinner menu.  

From time to time I like to gather friends for a tasting at a local favorite—like I’ve done at Croft Alley and Alma—and I decided the new menu was a great excuse to host a dinner at The Butcher’s Daughter. From the first sip, the evening was creative and delicious. We began with cocktails that actually felt healthy: the 24 Carrot, which is made with fresh-pressed carrot juice, and the Lucy in the Sky. My very favorite was the Federal, which is their take on a spicy margarita.

For our meal, the chef used produce that tasted as vibrant as it looked. We enjoyed roasted rainbow carrots, a beautiful beets & red watercress salad and the freshly made gnocchi daily pasta. For me, standouts included their cauliflower T-bone steak, jumbo lump ‘crab’ cake and market vegetables. All the food managed to feel substantial while still being light. Each plate was innovative and bright, with super fresh flavors and notes. Heather is a true professional when it comes to navigating farmer’s markets, and it shows in her dishes. 

Her strategy at markets, she says, is “being a cork in the ocean”—just going with the flow, not planning what she’s going to buy. Heather’s favorite item to buy every time, however, is microgreens, since they add flavor and texture to dishes while lightening them up. Her menu is full of them. The creative director’s best tip for the market: ask the farmers questions.“What’s good today? What do you like today? What can I make with this?” After all, they’re the experts—and they cook and sell to chefs, too. Enjoy shopping and dining! XXJKE 

Photos: Oliver Barth