Restaurant Review - Blackbird's Chicago

>> Sunday, July 20, 2008

I know its been a while. Dear Foodies, please accept my sincerest of apologies. I've done some traveling in our time apart and one of my trips was to the Second City, (honestly its kinda becoming first to me...) Chicago.

Having only been once in my life on a high school art history trip, I knew that Chicago would be a whole new experience. I was correct. I was basically visiting the city for the first time.

The whole trip was amazing, but I think what stood out the most was the incredibly dining experience I had at Blackbird.

This restaurant is definitely not for the faint of heart. You walk in, and enter this railroad style restaurant where you can see everything; the kitchen, bar and basically the whole dining room (I would say a 50 person capacity). Minimalism is definitely a theme. The walls are stark white as are the tables, the servers are dressed up much like the patrons, you can barely detect them in the crowd. Its a little crammed but having lived in New York for this long, I barely even notice anymore.

The Food. Oh the food. I can honestly say that out of the 20 or so items on the menu there was one component in each dish where I had no clue what it was. We started out with Endive Salad (endives, crispy potatoes, basil, dijon, pancetta and poached egg), which was really beautifully presented, wrapped in the crispy potato, then the server came table side and like a surgeon carefully dissected the salad and chopped and tossed together. After this I knew coming here was the right decision, who goes through all this trouble for a salad. People who are on the top of their game, that's who.

Here is what we order for the rest of the meal:

  • Crispy confit of swan creek farm suckling pig with local soybeans, baby artichokes, preserved lemon and pork rinds

  • Slow-roasted alaskan halibut with grilled cipollini onions, royal trumpets, cripsy pancetta, asparagus and miso

  • Braised rack of lamb with fresh chickpeas, spring radishes, pickled feta and lovage

Overall, this could be one of the better restaurants I've eaten at in my life. There is just something you have to respect about every component that is on the plate. Each dish was thoughtful, creative and most importantly DELICIOUS!

Be aware though, go with a hefty wallet, such fine dining does not run cheap, but it was completely worth every penny.

619 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 715-0708



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