619 west randolph
chicago, il 60661
blackbird is executive chef paul kahan's flagship restaurant in a family that also includes avec, the publican, big star, and the violet hour. the current chef de cuisine is david posey, a culinary institute of america graduate who prior to blackbird spent much time with genius chef grant achatz at both trio and alinea. the restaurant's modern american cuisine has been met with much praise over its almost fifteen year existence, most recently garnering a michelin star in the red guide along with a four star review from the chicago tribune. this would mark carrie a i's second visit to blackbird, having previously visited the restaurant for lunch during one of our first serious chicago food trips back in 2010.
diners at blackbird have the choice of ordering al a carte or partaking in a reasonably priced ($110) tasting menu featuring nine proper courses along with an amuse bouche and sorbet. wine pairings with the tasting are also available for an extra $55. per are usual, we went for the tasting and tacked on the pairings for good measure.
for our seventh course and final savory offering of the meal, we were treated to a part of the pig that i do not believe either of us have ever sampled. pictured above is braised pork collar with sunchokes, burnt leeks, kumquats, and horseradish caramel. paired with a cote du rhone, the collar reminded me of beef short rib somewhat in terms of texture and fat content, while the flavor was decidedly pork. at this point, the only nuance to this dish i can accurate recall is the citrus from the kumquats, which was definitely interesting mixed with the heavy meat.