If Loving Meat is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right

Written by Robert Miller

“Nothing we buy for the supper club has more than one ingredient.”
– Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due Chef and Owner

That’s what Jesse said to us as we were chatting about the restaurant while he was in-between plating meals. Think about that for a moment. I don’t even make breakfast tacos without blowing past that rule. But that is the ethos at Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club, and experiencing that kind of dedication is quite fun.

I went on Saturday, September 6th, with my wife, who recommended that I write a review for the neighborhood blog. I mention the specific date because Dai Due changes their Supper Club menu. Every. Day.

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Diners can choose A La Carte items or the Supper Club Menu. The Supper Club Menu, a prix fixe adventure, changes daily (tip: go on Thursdays if you want chicken, Fridays for seafood); it is unclear to me if the ALC items also change each day.

My wife chose from the ALC menu: she had Grilled Mushrooms with Crispy Ham, Garlic, Duck Egg Yolk & Toast ($10) and Ratatouille ($6). The Mushrooms were served in a medium-sized bowl with the yolk situated on top. They smelled richly of garlic, and my wife really enjoyed them. She noted that the ham was not a dominant flavor but added some saltiness. When Jesse came by to check in on us, she asked for an extra piece of toast, which are thin and baguette style. He happily obliged and quickly produced one. The ratatouille had a lot of flavor – the fresh tomatoes were great.

I took the plunge and had the Supper Club Menu ($35). The main course was literally a mountain of food: a grilled duck confit leg, link of smoked chaurice sausage – that they case in-house and is available for sale up front in the butcher shop – and 4 pieces of marinated venison on a skewer that were situated against a big cube of homemade cornbread. Strewn around the base of my food mountain were a purple hull pea stew, whole okra and small tomatoes. Despite my initial trepidation before ordering, there was literally nothing about this dish that I did not love. The duck was barely crispy on the outside but not overdone on the inside. The sausage had a chorizo-like flavor, but the spice was not hot. The venison, while a little overdone to my personal tastes (they did not ask my preference, and I was fine with that), was still tender and had that “cooked over good wood” grill flavor. The non-meat items were great, too. The cornbread had a delicious, crispy crust, and the okra! I am a decidedly non-okra guy, but I was on a food adventure so I trusted the chef. That okra was fantastic. It must have been sautéed in a pan that previously cooked bacon, or butter, or crack, because the skin had some kind of tasty smokiness to it while the “meat” retained its sweetness. It totally changed my opinion on okra.

Once the mountain was taken away – I was mostly victorious – I had coffee and desert, which are included in the prix fixe price.

I had never tried cold-brewed coffee before, so the Cafe de Olla was a revelation. Tons of flavor, almost no bitterness. It has a touch of brown sugar, and needs no cream.

Our dessert choice was Apple Pie with Full Quiver Cheddar ($6, though included in my meal). The apples were firm and not syrupy, and the crust was good. To be honest, though, my food coma was already setting in and I’d need to eat this again on its own to give it a fair test.

The seating area is fairly small – a dozen tables or so – which means reservations fill up quickly. If you’re a party of two I recommend sitting at the chef’s counter like we did so you can stand up occasionally and watch the line do their excellent work.

Overall I was very impressed, and will definitely go back. Our little corner of Manor Road is part of the “next big thing” in Austin dining and I suspect Dai Due will be a major part of the conversation. Best to get in now while there’s not a weeks-long waiting list for a table. Maybe, since Jesse is so intensely focused on “local sourcing”, we can convince Jesse to give Cherrywooders some preference for reservations!

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