Vegetable Rebel: The Butcher’s Daughter
If it seems surprising that Heather Tierney–half of the brother-sister duo that owns Apotheke and Pulqueria–would open a juice bar, the connection is apparent when you sidle up to order. “What flavors do you like?” a friendly employee asked on a recent visit to Tierney’s cheekily named new cafe, the Butcher’s Daughter. Listening, she nodded. “I have two smoothies you might like.” It’s not unlike ordering a cocktail at Apotheke: That bar is named after the German word for “pharmacy,” and if it’s not crowded, a mixologist will “prescribe” a quaff based on the drinker’s tastes and mood. Sipping a kale or herb-laced concoction, it’s easy to convince yourself that the tipples are downright medicinal.
There’s no convincing needed at the Butcher’s Daughter. The solid portion of the menu is a lineup of simple, healthy dishes–the kind that leave you feeling bright-eyed and benevolent. And though most have few ingredients, chef Joya Carlton (formerly of Buvette), pays close attention to each one, making almost everything in-house, from scratch. That was case with a wintry carrot soup, a daily special lightly flavored with tarragon and curry; the creamy concoction happened to be vegan, thickened with lentils. It paired well with mashed avocado spread onto toasted Pain d’Avignon 7-Grain, sprinkled with curry oil, mustard, and lemon. There’s breakfast, too: yogurt and fruit, house-made muesli, or an egg-on-English muffin sandwich. Coming soon, Carlton will offer an evening menu with small plates like roughly chopped beet “tartare” and a linguine made from raw julienned squash, topped with pesto.
Anyone who’s paying attention will notice the menu is not exactly vegan, nor raw, though some items are both. “I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m excited about this type of food,” says Tierney. She plans to eventually offer cleanses, with a choice of all-juice or juice and food. It all fits her vision for the shop: “There’s this story in my head where the butcher’s daughter is a vegetarian; she’s just over it. I wanted to spotlight vegetables the way a butcher spotlights meat.”
Tierney designed the airy cafe herself (it’s not her first project; last year she launched an interior design firm called Wanderlust), modeling the corner space after an old-fashioned butcher shop. The white interior features a reclaimed maple counter with butcher-block feel, specials written on old milk-glass cabinet doors, and vintage meat hooks hanging above large windows. Aside from raincoat-yellow stools, the shop’s color comes courtesy the plant world–there’s a living wall on one end and potted chilies and other edibles on most surfaces.
Tierney and Carlton are committed to sourcing everything they can locally. Come spring, supplier Mike’s Organic has agreed to plant a plot for them upstate, at which point they’ll be able to truly get creative with the menu. “I’m excited for spring,” Carlton said. “We’re really trying to push it a little further, especially with herbs.” The butcher’s daughter would surely like the sound of that.