Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A night at Chicago's Blackbird
Monday night we headed over to Blackbird for an early dinner. Blackbird is one of Chicago’s most regarded restaurants led by Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Mike Sheerin.

Thomas Schlesser is the man behind the restaurants James Beard Award-winning design - a sleek mid-century mod feel with a crisp white bar. What caught my attention first off was the attentive staff who offered table hooks for our purses and immediately switched my white napkin to black based on the color of my outift.

Our wine included a bottle of 2005 Gitton 'Les Belles Dames' Sancerre and bottle of 2004 Domaine Daniel Rion & Fils Hautes Côtes de Nuits. Our appetizers for the table began with baby octopus confit with black chickpeas, pears, hazelnuts and eucalyptus and seared ahi with green garbanzos, picholine olives, smoked buttermilk and candied wild rice.

I had the black bass with green papaya, dandelion greens, walnuts and charred beef vinaigrette for my entree and it was perfectly prepared. I also had a taste of the slow-cooked halibut with uni, black trumpet mushrooms, spring radishes, baby parsnips and chive. If I had to choose between the two I would go back to the black bass a million times over.

With an entire spread of deserts concluding our dinner my favorite was the milk chocolate ganache with ovaltine, sesame and banana bread ice cream. Yum.

I also learned that night that Blackbird hosts a monthly Salon Series Dinner - an avant-garde evening where the upstairs dining room is transformed into a private art gallery. The next series will take place on April 21st and preview photographer Greg Stimac and film-maker Jennifer Reeder. Chef de Cuisine, Mike Sheerin, will present a five-course meal inspired by the installation with wine pairings. The series is t $115 (not including tax, gratuity) and kicks off with a 6:30 pm reception followed by a 7:00 p.m. seating. Contact the restaurant HERE for more details and reservations if you'll be in the Chicago area.

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