Friday, January 05, 2007


Last night, Dad and I had one of our date nights. He wanted to take me to Blackbird, so I made reservations a couple of days ago. I thought my online reservations didn't go through because it kept telling me to go back and select a time, so I finally called them to make one. I accidentally made three reservations, but found out and canceled two when they called to confirm.

When I first walked in I was impressed by the clean lines of the place. I understood what Mom meant when she described it as a bit loud. The tables were close together and it was a bit difficult to hear my dad at times.

First there was amuse, which I am not quite sure what it was because neither Dad nor I heard/understood what it was when it was presented to us. Dad didn't think I should take pictures (I did have my pink camera with me.) I think it was a bacon mustard sauce with fish (salmon?), apples, and fresh dill. Whatever it was, it was good.

To start with I ordered the warm organic sunburst trout with meyer lemon, pickled beets, wild arugula, and chorizo bread crumbs. The plate presentations are wonderful. It was in an oval shaped platter with the sauce (a light citrusy aioli, possibly) on one side and the thinly sliced pickled beets, with the trout with the bread crumbs on top of that, which was topped with the lemon and arugula. My first bite was a bit too peppery, but after that I have no complaints. I was worried about the pickled beets because I hear pickled and I think torshi (Iranian pickled vegetables), which I do not like. I didn't notice the chorizo and completely forgot there was even any in the dish until looking up the name of it just now.
Dad ordered the seared maine diver scallops with roasted chestnuts, moonglow pears, smoked bacon, and saba. He seemed to enjoy it. I had a bite of the scallop with the pears, but I'm not a big fan of the flavor of larger scallops (bad experience of eating too many years ago), but the pear was nice and thinly sliced.

For dinner I ordered the sauteed walleyed pike with butternut frites, radicchio, green apples, hickory nuts and sorrel. I had difficulty ordering because its difficult to be adventurous and know if you will like it or not. I went with the pike despite the waitress suggesting the sturgeon because I prefer flakier fish over meatier ones. I've never had hickory nuts or sorrel as far as I know, so my dish was pretty much a bunch of new flavors for me. And I didn't like them all. I wasn't sure if something was wrong, or if it was my taste. It was my taste. Dad tried some and said they tasted right. I learned I don't like cooked radicchio (it becomes too bitter for my liking). Same with hickory nuts. Dad said that the pike was a bit overcooked, but I don't know enough about fish to be able to tell, and I thought it was delicious with a nice crispy outside, but it was still wonderfully moist and flaky. The only complaint (other than not knowing that I don't like cooked radicchio or hickory nuts) would have to be that a few bites were too salty, but not too many.
Dad had the grilled organic veal tenderloin and veal sausage with local turnips, dandelions, apricot chutney and px sherry vinegar. I didn't try much of it, but he didn't say anything bad about it. I only tried the chutney, which was very rich and not overly sweet.

And then of course we had to have dessert, which was a very difficult choice because they all sounded good and none of them had multiple things I'd never had in them so I knew for the most part they weren't things I don't like (the problem with being a picky eater), but after seeing the table next to us have dessert when we arrived, I knew to have no idea what to expect. We finally decided on toasted pinenut 'pain de gene' with quince, saffron, and yogurt sorbet. The cake part of it was deliciously moist and nutty with a hint of saffron, the quince was so beautifully sliced and arranged, the saffron really came through in the sauce, the yogurt sorbet was a lot better than it sounds (it was the iffy part to me), deliciously creamy and not too sweet but sweet enough to balance out the nuttiness of the rest of the dessert. The toasted pine nuts crunched and melted with each bite. The dessert is the only part of dinner that I have no complaints about (most of which relates to salt/pepper and personal dislike of certain flavors).

When we left, around 8:30 or so, the place was completely packed, including the bar with people waiting.

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