DINING & ENTERTAINMENT: Feature Story
Top-class Neighborhood Service jovAnovic photo by brAndon gibbonS All photoS courteSy of truffleS
By Robyn Dexter
or nearly a year now, Truffles Butchery in Ladue has been allowing Truffles fans to take their food home with them. General manager Aleksander Jovanovic says Butchery is an “extended arm” of Truffles that is truly a modern-style butcher stop. “Truffles has been around for 15 years,” he says. “It was a dream to have a sort of ‘Truffles to-go.’ ” But Butchery isn’t just any butcher shop. Though they do butcher their meat there and sell fresh seafood, they also have a wine selection and a dairy section, as well as prepared sandwiches and salads. “You can get anything from charcoal to utensils, too,” he explains. The idea behind the butcher shop was to enable customers to have a Truffles experience in their home – and to get all the materials in one place. “Everyone who works in the shop is a chef,” Jovanovic says. “That way, our customers can get recommendations on how to prepare what they’re buying, whether it’s grilling or roasting in your own home.” Customers are thrilled to have a shop and service like that in their neighborhood, Jovanovic notes.
Between Truffles and Butchery, they’ve established a loyal clientele of customers who enjoy being able to customize what they order, Jovanovic says. As holiday season approaches, Butchery will have a variety of gift baskets available, including a steak package, a pork sampler, cheese boxes and more. Jovanovic says the baskets are a great success, as is the store’s award-winning wine list. “We have 24 different wines at Butchery and have access to many more,” he says. “Per request, we can get just about any wine imaginable.” Jovanovic is also the wine director, and his expertise and enthusiasm for the topic landed Truffles on World of Fine Wine’s World’s Best Wine Lists 2015. Wine Spectator also just published an article on Jovanovic and Truffles, showcasing the restaurant and his work. “St. Louis is not viewed as a food and wine mecca like Chicago or New York City, but it’s really the best foodie town you haven’t heard of,” Jovanovic explains. “There are so many bad things tied to our city right now, but there are also so many good things happening, too. It’s nice to receive national recognition for what we do.”
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There’s never a dull moment at Truffles and Butchery, especially on weekends. At Butchery, customers can request after-hours classes to learn the art of butchery. Attendees learn about the parts of the animal – whether it’s pork or beef – and practice carving. At the end of the class, they take half a hog home. And at Truffles, the weekend starts early with an event called Wine Thursdays. “Every Thursday, we have different purveyor come and present a few different wines. It’s free of charge, and you get a small sampling of each. People get the chance to experience something rare and unique. All we ask in return is that you tell us what you like best,” he says. “We collect votes, and the winner is put on the wine list the next week at wholesale price.” It’s a well-visited event, Jovanovic says, and people come in extremely interested in learning. In addition, they have live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday that “varies from soft rock to jazz to upbeat dance music.” Jovanovic says it makes a night out even more fun - all the way until 1 a.m. 314-567-9100, todayattruffles.com