Butcher and Still at the Four Seasons Al Maryah Island is a unqiue entity in a city bursting with restaurant options. Marking one of just a few venues in the capital that has the ability to enamour guests from the moment they enter, transporting them into another era and making them immediately forget they’re in the Middle East.
Presenting a modern interpretation of the 1920s prohibition-era Chicago steakhouse, Butcher and Still is exactly what you’d expect from a haven to all things meat. An abundance of dark wood, retro inspired decor and distressed leather banquettes, make for an intimate and inviting venue. Yet it’s the small touches, such as the bullet casings embedded into the grout in the bathroom stalls or the meat cleavers included in the cutlery that add character and memorable appeal to this specific steakhouse.
It’s been almost a year since our last review and although the Saturday BBQ concept has now been discontinued, there are a number of new and potentially more appealing promotions to enjoy. We begin in the bar, offering views across the water to the lights of downtown Abu Dhabi and an ideal spot for sundowners. Even on a Tuesday evening, a notoriously quite night on the Abu Dhabi dining scene, Butcher & Still is buzzing with the after-work crowd.
Mixology has always been one of the restaurants strongest selling points and a daily happy hour offering buy one get one free on ALL drinks seems like a sensible way to guarantee business, especially when the cocktails are so good! Alongside beguiling concoctions inspired by prohibition era Chicago (we highly recommend the Backseat Cadillac, a mix of Henessy, Cointreau, Lemon juice marmalade, smoke and sugar), Butcher & Still features an antique Imperial Martini Shake. One of only five in the world and the only one to reside in the Middle East.
A concise menu focusing on quality cuts is the main draw and although the à la carte pricing is as expected, there are a number of promotions to entice those who may envision the Four Seasons brand as being ‘inaccessible.’ Shuckin’ Thursdays offer oysters for AED 13 per piece between 4pm and 7pm. While our Tuesday visit purposely coincides with the Sizzling Prime Rib promotion — an absolute steal at just AED 155 for three courses.
With two cuts of prime Black Angus Beef to select from (the 10oz Chicago Cut or the 12oz Capone Cut) we found the smaller choice to be more than enough, especially considering it comes as part of a three-course meal featuring a green salad and a heavily laden ice cream sundae. The prime rib is cooked at a pleasing medium-rare temperature and with this specific cut taken from the upper rib section of the steer, diners can expect the meat to be tender, moist, and flavorful.
We thoroughly enjoy the accompaniments which include fresh Porterhouse Rolls from the in-house bread kitchen, while a simple Green Salad of cucumber and carrot ribbon is perhaps a little too heavily dressed in balsamic vinaigrette. An additional side of Crab Mac & Cheese (AED 75) is hearty, creamy and chock-full of generously portioned crab, allowing the pronounced flavour of the crustacean to shine through and work in conjunction with the cheese from which it would so often be overpowered.
Desserts were probably not required on this occasion, but we couldn’t resist the all-American choices of key lime pie and New York cheesecake. We wish we’d been warned of the potion sizes though, as the desserts are gargantuan! Keeping with the theme of the evening we decide to split the Tribune Tower (AED 95), an impressive dessert comprising of 34 layers of chocolate cake and ganache and inspired by Chicago’s iconic Tribune Tower. A gloriously decadent choice and a must for chocolate lovers. We would recommend it be served with a hot chocolate sauce though.
The service throughout was outstanding and comes from a knowledgeable, friendly and engaging team. Butcher & Still remains consistent and really sets the bar for steakhouses in Abu Dhabi, yet still manages to surprise us before we leave! Navigate the narrow passageways past the bathrooms and the kitchens and into the service elevator (like a scene out of Goodfella’s) and descend one level downwards. There you’ll find a private dining room with seating for up to twenty guests, a fully stocked bar including actual 1920s Prohibition liquors, wine cellars concealed behind wooden panels. A red velvet sofa inspired by the backseat of Al Capone’s Cadillac completes the picture and successfully manages to stay on the right side of kitsch. We can certainly see ourselves booking a future birthday celebration here, especially considering the private dining room comes complete with 1920s era clothing and costume jewellery for the ultimate gangsta costume party.
Butcher & Still continues to impress and stands out as the leader of the pack in a repertoire of strong food and beverage offerings at the Four Seasons Al Maryah Island. No easy feat considering the hotel is also home to upmarket Italian eatery Cafe Milano, stylish pool bar Eclipse and sophisticated cocktail lounge Zsa Zsa All of which are home to some exemplary offers this Valentine’s Day, all of which you can find here.
Out & About UAE were guests of Butcher & Still. All views are our own and photographs are © Out & About UAE.