Wednesday, April 3, 2013

blackbird (3) - chicago, il

www.blackbirdrestaurant.com
619 west randolph street
chicago, il 60661

about the restaurant:
- opened in 1997 in the west loop
- executive chef is paul kahan, who is also responsible for avec, the publican, publican quality meats, big star, and the violet hour
- current chef de cuisine is alinea veteran david posey
- the cuisine is "new american" and is served at lunch al a carte or three course prix fixe. dinner is al a carte or ten course tasting
- one michelin star, four stars from the chicago tribune 

details of our visit:
this was our third meal at blackbird, with one lunch and one dinner in our past. we opted for the $22 three course prix fixe menu, which which gives diners two or three choices per course.
the sea of green - ford’s gin, green chartreuse, jack rudy tonic, egg white, cucumber, rosemary mist
beet-nik - north shore aquavit, crème de cassis, sparkling wine, beets, ginger, lime
bread with an unannounced spread
smoked arctic char, 'nduja' cauliflower, pear, rosemary
mixed greens salad, crispy potato, basil dijon vinaigrette
confit duck leg, broccoli, potato granola, seasame, raisin cream
wood-grilled sturgeon, shiitakes, onion noodles, persimmons, buttermilk
frozen parsnip custard, peanut bavarois, milk meringue, finger lime, ginger
winter coupe with rhubarb frozen yogurt, kumquat, pistachios, matcha 

service:
not much to say here...our server was friendly and unobtrusive, checking on us at appropriate times and never hovering. there were no issues with the support staff.

food:
excellent...all three of my courses brought something unique to the table, each offering a well balanced complexity in both flavor and texture. i can't really name a favorite, but i will note that the duck course was some of the best leg meat i have ever had.

overall thoughts:
going into the meal, i had some pretty fond memories of blackbird, and this lunch did nothing to tarnish them. this was our first time trying the prix fixe lunch, and i have to say it is one of the best "fine" dining deals around. add to this the fact that i love the design of the dining room, and i think it is safe to say a fourth trip to blackbird is likely to occur at some point.

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