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  • Post #151 - December 2nd, 2013, 10:03 pm
    Post #151 - December 2nd, 2013, 10:03 pm Post #151 - December 2nd, 2013, 10:03 pm
    Longform article about Blackbird's opening and legacy
    http://blackbird.plateonline.com/index.php

    I had no idea its design was so old, comparatively, dating back to 1997. It still looks great. Also amazing that Rick is still there pretty much every time I go there holding down the fort.
  • Post #152 - December 4th, 2013, 12:44 pm
    Post #152 - December 4th, 2013, 12:44 pm Post #152 - December 4th, 2013, 12:44 pm
    This article/story is wonderfully told. I thought everyone's candor was a testament to the truly unique and inspiring environment that the four partners created. I also found some of the information, such as Paul's obsession with the cleanliness and order of the restaurant and the fact that they are all STILL so hands on, in spite of the burgeoning empire that they oversee, a fascinating contrast to the freedom and creativity that they foster in their staff. Great stuff! Should be required reading for anyone seeking to open a restaurant.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #153 - December 19th, 2017, 7:30 pm
    Post #153 - December 19th, 2017, 7:30 pm Post #153 - December 19th, 2017, 7:30 pm
    Figured I'd bump up this old thread since Blackbird celebrated 20 years earlier this month, and I hadn't been in a loooong time and haven't seen much chatter about it. Blackbird was actually my first ~nice~ restaurant experience so it was fun to revisit a place I hold pretty dear. My partner is averse to anything "too fussy", but he loved it. Four of us split the following, as copy-pasted from the website:

    salad of endive. crispy potato. basil. dijon. pancetta. poached egg
    grilled sea scallop. persimmon. pork rind. chicory. brown butter
    wagyu beef. misoyaki. allium. enoki mushroom. seaweed

    beer cheese pierogi. sunchoke. asian pear. sport pepper
    wood grilled sturgeon. kabocha squash. hazelnut. sweetbread
    rohan duck breast. pave. broccoli. sesame. ginger. mustard green
    roasted venison. clam. fregola sarda. apple saba

    For dessert we went with three orders of: frozen vanilla pavlova. fig. pistachio. lime. nougat ice cream.

    The amuse bouche was an apple-y, mushroom-y gel-y goodness (a terrible description...). We were also given pieces of an apple cake, mini chocolate cream puff swans and packaged chocolate biscotti for the road. Definitely back in the rotation for special occasion meals.

    On a funnier note, I was carded after ordering cocktails! I assume it was because of our very baby-faced friend whose birthday we were celebrating. It was the first time I'd been carded at a restaurant.
  • Post #154 - December 20th, 2017, 3:02 pm
    Post #154 - December 20th, 2017, 3:02 pm Post #154 - December 20th, 2017, 3:02 pm
    One of my pet peeves is being carded at a nice restaurant. I'm surprised to hear they did that, seems very tacky.
  • Post #155 - December 20th, 2017, 3:23 pm
    Post #155 - December 20th, 2017, 3:23 pm Post #155 - December 20th, 2017, 3:23 pm
    bhovsepian wrote:One of my pet peeves is being carded at a nice restaurant. I'm surprised to hear they did that, seems very tacky.

    Well, they did say they had a baby-faced friend with them, which probably explains it. I'm all in favor of carding in such circumstances. The potential consequences of not doing so far outweigh the inconvenience it creates.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #156 - December 20th, 2017, 5:03 pm
    Post #156 - December 20th, 2017, 5:03 pm Post #156 - December 20th, 2017, 5:03 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    bhovsepian wrote:One of my pet peeves is being carded at a nice restaurant. I'm surprised to hear they did that, seems very tacky.

    Well, they did say they had a baby-faced friend with them, which probably explains it. I'm all in favor of carding in such circumstances. The potential consequences of not doing so far outweigh the inconvenience it creates.

    =R=


    I totally understand why it happened and agree. I guess I'm looking less weathered in my 30s than I thought. ;)
  • Post #157 - December 21st, 2017, 8:23 am
    Post #157 - December 21st, 2017, 8:23 am Post #157 - December 21st, 2017, 8:23 am
    Great write up, Pocket. Thanks for reminding me of this place. I had no idea they were celebrating such a big anniversary this year. It must have been 15 years since the last time I've been there. I think it's time to pay them another visit.
  • Post #158 - May 28th, 2018, 9:21 am
    Post #158 - May 28th, 2018, 9:21 am Post #158 - May 28th, 2018, 9:21 am
    Congratulations to Blackbird for making it to 20 years! We were there over the weekend and found it to be, if anything, stronger than ever. It was an anniversary visit for us and we were recognized as such and were served a nice glass of champers to begin the meal.

    I'd already decided we'd do the tasting menu with pairings, and we weren't disappointed. In every tasting menu there's the chance of at least one dish that doesn't quite hit home and for us it was a crab dish that we thought the texture was a bit off. Beyond that a superb meal. Some of the pairings were absolutely spot on, the Illinois sparkling served with the first course of rhubarb was suprisingly delicious and perfectly matched the dish. Toward the middle some pairing we found to be just OK, but our pallets were getting tired and our tummies full. The first 2/3 of the meal could have been served to us in Japan, and progressed nicely. The Amish chicken, while delicious, broke the progression, and the lamb saddle, while great, would have finished the Japanese meal if they'd used Wagyu or Kobe beef instead.

    Service was the same as always, efficient and just casual enough to make one feel welcome. I did feel that they'd mastered the art of adjusting to the table (a good thing IMHO). We were in a good happy mood as so was our service.

    Not an inexpensive dinner by any means, and too much for a casual "let's go to Blackbird" tonight" suggestion, but it remains my Chicago go to place for a special occasion. Other review sites are full of complaints about the tables being too close together. Well, OK, I guess those people haven't been to Paris, by those standards they're more than far enough apart.
  • Post #159 - May 28th, 2018, 10:01 pm
    Post #159 - May 28th, 2018, 10:01 pm Post #159 - May 28th, 2018, 10:01 pm
    I was also there this weekend (might have even sat next to you based on our neighbors being an anniversary couple getting free champagne) and the meal was excellent as always. The real standout was the frozen pavlova dessert my wife got. I think it was the best dessert I've ever tasted.
  • Post #160 - June 29th, 2020, 5:43 pm
    Post #160 - June 29th, 2020, 5:43 pm Post #160 - June 29th, 2020, 5:43 pm
    Blackbird, one of Chicago’s greatest restaurants, felled by the coronavirus

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavi ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #161 - June 29th, 2020, 8:42 pm
    Post #161 - June 29th, 2020, 8:42 pm Post #161 - June 29th, 2020, 8:42 pm
    Dave148 wrote:Blackbird, one of Chicago’s greatest restaurants, felled by the coronavirus

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavi ... story.html


    Damn. Just damn. This one really hurts. So many special meals, so many memories. Bereft.
  • Post #162 - June 30th, 2020, 9:14 am
    Post #162 - June 30th, 2020, 9:14 am Post #162 - June 30th, 2020, 9:14 am
    Yeah, this one is really sad because my wife and I had our wedding dinner there. I'm glad they aren't trying to force it in a way that is unsafe though.
  • Post #163 - July 9th, 2020, 10:10 am
    Post #163 - July 9th, 2020, 10:10 am Post #163 - July 9th, 2020, 10:10 am
    I'm hoping LTHers can help me with something. I have an unused gift certificate for Blackbird. (stupid me!) I have tried to reach out to One Off Hospitality via Facebook message and and email. The only email that I've been able to find is marketing (at) oneoffhospitality.com. No phone number or other contact info on their website. I'd like to see if I can use it at another One Off concept. I've not heard back via either means of contact I've used. My next step is to call one of the restaurants to ask. I'm curious if anyone has another suggestion.
    -Mary
  • Post #164 - July 9th, 2020, 12:45 pm
    Post #164 - July 9th, 2020, 12:45 pm Post #164 - July 9th, 2020, 12:45 pm
    The GP wrote:I'm hoping LTHers can help me with something. I have an unused gift certificate for Blackbird. (stupid me!) I have tried to reach out to One Off Hospitality via Facebook message and and email. The only email that I've been able to find is marketing (at) oneoffhospitality.com. No phone number or other contact info on their website. I'd like to see if I can use it at another One Off concept. I've not heard back via either means of contact I've used. My next step is to call one of the restaurants to ask. I'm curious if anyone has another suggestion.


    They are still including Blackbird on the website for the “one off” gift cards—so they should be allowing anyone with a site specific GC to use them elsewhere in the system. The email I found for the program is info@oneoffhospitality.com.
    Good luck!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #165 - July 9th, 2020, 12:52 pm
    Post #165 - July 9th, 2020, 12:52 pm Post #165 - July 9th, 2020, 12:52 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote: They are still including Blackbird on the website for the “one off” gift cards—so they should be allowing anyone with a site specific GC to use them elsewhere in the system. The email I found for the program is info@oneoffhospitality.com.
    Good luck!!

    Thanks, Jen! Not sure why I didn't come across that email. I'll give that a try.

    On the plus (?) side, I am now getting all the marketing emails for all their concepts. :)
    -Mary
  • Post #166 - July 10th, 2020, 9:18 am
    Post #166 - July 10th, 2020, 9:18 am Post #166 - July 10th, 2020, 9:18 am
    Still haven't heard from One Off. I called avec but got voice mail. Decided to try their email address and received a response. Woo hoo! I'm able to use the gift certificate at avec. We're going to do their special five course French rosé dinner only available on July 14, which happens to be Mr. X's birthday. Still sad we didn't get to Blackbird, but I'm okay with avec. ;-)
    -Mary

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