Blackbird, Chicago

A few weeks ago G surprised me with a night in the city. We started with a drink at our hotel and then we headed out to Blackbird for dinner. The space is small but relaxed and comfortable. The closely packed tables are covered with white linens and have dark wooden chairs. The back of the restaurant is an open kitchen with a beautiful wooden counter. I did notice that the lighting was fantastic; it offered a lovely glow without being too dim to see the menu or food. Very nicely done!

We were seated near the open kitchen which was nice and a bit quiet from the din of the room. We read over the lovely menu and debated whether to go for go for the tasting menu. We decided that we would just order off of the menu as the tasting menus are always just too much food. Our waitress was friendly, helpful and informative with a nice relaxed style as we debated the various dishes.

I started with the lobster appetizer special with dill, green onions, and rye bread. I was terribly confused by the inclusion of rye bread but it was fantastic! The buttery lobster was nicely complemented by the earthy crunch of the small toasted pieces of rye. G started his meal with the crispy suckling pig with celeriac risotto, granny smith apple, hazelnut, and black truffle. Again it was a wonderful dish with an amazing combination of flavors.

For the main course G had the miso-cured pork belly with salsify, black trumpet mushrooms, buckwheat, and grapefruit. The pork belly was delicious with the just the right amount of fat for it to melt in your mouth. The mushrooms added a wonderful earthiness which was highlighted by the sweet tang of the grapefruit. A great dish! For my main dish I had the grilled wagyu flatiron with charred cabbage, crispy onion, and roasted beef cream. The wagyu was perfectly rare and just melt in your mouth. It was covered with crispy onions which added the ideal crunch. And who would have guessed that charred cabbage could be so incredible. The char has just the perfect bitterness against the sweetness of the beef and onions. It was a truly amazing dish!!

For dessert we shared the warm bittersweet chocolate crémeux, medjool date sherbet, sticky rice, urfa biber, sesame. Again, as was the theme with the appetizers and entrees, it was a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. The sticky rice had a nice creamy texture in combination with the sweetness added by the date. It was a lovely ending to the meal.

I really enjoyed how each dish was an amazing combination of flavors and textures. Overall, it was an amazing meal in a simple, elegant, comfortable space.

619 W Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60661

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