ROAD TRIP: The Butcher Shoppe & Grill

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Last week, I heard about a restaurant opening in the small town of Batesville that was worth the drive. So on Friday, I headed to The Butcher Shoppe & Grill at Walhill Farm (857 Six Pine Ranch Rd., Batesville, 812-934-2600) to see what the fuss was about. The restaurant is housed in an 11,000-square-foot chicken coop–turned–Bavarian-style lodge (not kidding). Instantly, you’re struck by its eclectic state, from the wall of vintage menus and the display of horse bits to the chairs made of bourbon barrels and the giant taxidermy ocean fish. This is no ordinary food spot off the interstate. Yes, I see barrels and I’m in the country—but instead of dreading that ho-hum experience, I’ve found a treasure.

The warm and welcoming bartender informs me this stunning 141-acre farm (including the restaurant) was once owned by George C. Hillenbrand, one of the nation’s most notable industrial engineers (Hill-Rom Co. and Batesville Casket Co.). During the early 1960s, he purchased the land to raise his prized stock of thoroughbred trotters and ponies. When he passed away, his nephew Pete Hillenbrand (who was running a resort on 160-person island called Little Cayman) couldn’t bare to see the farm go unused. So he bought it and eventually decided to open a restaurant.

Pete Hillenbrand hired chef James Bogart to run the kitchen. Bogart most recently comes from McCormick & Schmick’s, a chain in Columbus, Ohio. His team makes almost everything in house, and uses vegetables (beans, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, and herbs) from the farm’s garden. They also work with Indiana food companies like Traders Point Creamery, Smoking Goose, and Great Crescent Brewery.

At The Butcher Shoppe & Grill, every customer and every dish seem to count. The buttered made-from-scratch cranberry-walnut bread may sound too sweet as a starter, but trust me on this one. And as mundane as a plate of chicken over linguini sounds, this one is packed with flavor from juicy chunks of bacon, mushrooms, leeks, and roasted tomatoes. And the hearty plate of German-style meat patties, or Frikadellen, is freaking delicious. 











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Comments

  1. Melanie Dreyer

    July 31, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I loved the review of this restaurant… As an implant from the east coast 25 years ago, I never quite got over missing the great dishes from my own family of chefs. I was raised on Italian food from my aunts and uncles that arrived from Rome, and Polish dishes of Pierogies that melted in my mouth.

    To get my ‘fix’, we would need to travel to either Cincinnati or Indianapolis or wait for a visitor from my home town to bring my favorite foods… That is, until Peter Hillenbrand opened The Butcher Shoppe Bar & Grill this spring.

    It is less than a 5 minute drive from my home and I spend several days/evenings a week enjoying a little of everything on the menu…

    I highly suggest that your readers find their way to this ‘piece of paradise’ in Batesville, Indiana.

  2. Peter Hillenbrand

    July 31, 2012 at 11:49 am

    If you enjoy great food (sustainably grown and as local as we can get), an inspired bar and friendly service in a unique creative atmosphere, we hope you will join us at the Butcher Shoppe Bar and Grill at Walhill Farm

  3. Tracy (Bogart) Hooley

    October 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    As the executive chef’s “big sister,” I look forward to being able to dine here. James puts his entire heart into every dish he serves and expects his staff to do the same. Without even having had the opportunity to try it there, I can 100% guarantee you won’t be disappointed!