Summary: Recommended for great food.
619 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661
I went here again last night to see whether the recent successes and awards had changed Blackbird. Specifically, I wanted to see if they too had gone down the path of appearance over quality.
I am happy to say that they have not. In fact, I find it interesting that the James beard award and the Michelin plague are nowhere to be seen, or perhaps in the hallway leading to the bathroom.
The service, food, and decor remain pretty much the same quality as they were 10 years ago when I first began to dine at this restaurant and long before our French friends came here to judge Chicago restaurants.
I do believe this place merits the Michelin star, and think 1 star was appropriate. It is better than many of it’s peers in the 1 star category. I would dine here again many times before heading back to the purees and foam of Alinea, lukewarm food and dated decor of Boka, stuffy pretentiousness of Spiaggia or overpriced snobbery of Sixteen (and, frankly, I will support nothing Trump related, but that’s another story …)
EVERYTHING is fattening, artery clogging, buttery goodness. Food looks good on the plate but emphasis is still on taste. Flavorful, savory food with interesting twists but not so much about the show that the food gets lost. This visit, I had as my appetizer the confit of suckling pig with fried ipswich clams. YUM!! Dinner was aged pekin duck breast with golden beets, chestnut soubise and munich malt. My guest (from UK) had the skate wing appetizer and the lamb. Both of us cleaned our plates and enjoyed dinner.
Portions are large enough to fill you up but still leave room for dessert, which we both had. Not a fan of the desserts, but mainly because in this category I am a “Joe Sixpack”. I want an apple pie or brownie with icecream and am unimpressed by fancy schmancy nondescript deserts.
Has not changed. Could get old, but it’s clean, crsip, minimalist. Uncomfortable seats to some extent but nothing that woudl keep me away. Slightly loud, but nowehere near Publican or Girl and the Goat levels of noise.
Prompt service, attentive but not overwhelming. And many of the people there have been there for years. Small things like having my coat ready for me when I was done with my meal, the tasty amuse bouche at the beginning of the meal, excellent wine selection, and general friendliness (without being giddy) of the staff were added plusses.
Excluding our relatively expensive but great bottle of wine, we paid about $200 for the two of us to have full meal with appetizer, main, and dessert plus coffee. This included the tip. I would say this places Blackbird in the same value tier as Crofton or graham elliott.
Most dinners I have had here: Amazing food and nothing healthy on the menu. No attitude amongst the staff or clientele and no need to wear suits and ties. Love it. Bring on the butter and bacon baby!
In relationship with #foodies,
Adam L. Stanley | ALSWharton Connections
For more reviews, go to my yelp profile here or find me on TripAdvisor with username ALSWharton.