Ladies, on your journey to womanhood, there are the rare moments in the time space continuum when you and your girlfriends are all free on the same day and at the same time. These rare moments are called girls night out. I experienced such an event a few weeks ago and I ended the night sleeping on a friend's couch. Thanks in all parts to lots of alcohol.
Before things took a turn for the worse, we had a great dinner at Blackbird Tavern. I've been dying to try Blackbird Tavern. I went to their grand opening this summer but did not get to try the food yet.
I did get to check out the decor and I was really drawn to this image of a leafless tree in the main dining area. So very Edgar Allan Poe-like. The artist is Pilar Agueor-Esparza. I was impressed by the way they decorated the restaurant. Not at all like a tavern and actually very modern but it definitely suits the live jazz music acts they bring in with the clean dark teal stage in the back.
A bottle of red, a bottle of white, and a bottle of champagne to get the party started.
($6.25 each item) Charcuterie platter with salami, proscuitto, Point Reyes Bleu Cheese, Notre Dame Triple Cream Brie served with crusty bread, local honey, and pickled veggies. Charcuterie per the usual. Good but expensive.
($19.75) Pork cutlet with black eyed peas and ham hock salad, whole grain mustard, and beurre blanc. Our friend enjoyed this dish. I had a sample too and thought it was good but wait til you see the others.
($22.75) Grilled salmon with Israeli cous cous, roasted fennel, citrus salad, pistachios, fennel jus.
This cous cous was buttery goodness. My first time having the larger sized cous cous and I am a huge fan. Already love fennel everything too. This dish was a winner.
($14.75) Shrimp and grits. Herbed shrimp, creamy grits, pancetta, preserved lemons, spinach, spicy red pepper sauce. The best grits in the whole dang world. It makes me feel awkward when people make sex noises and close their eyes to express how much they enjoy their food. It's the number one reason you will not see me eating on TV...because television offers are pouring in left and right. After I took a bite of this dish, I made an awkward noise, closed my eyes, and said "OMG so good." I became one of those people! That's how good these grits were.
We polished off our 3 bottles at Blackbird and went over to Koji Sake Lounge for a Bloody Geisha and White Lotuses. Bloody Geisha has Sriracha sauce in it! Koji Sake Lounge is one of our stomping grounds because we can just walk in, have some drinks, and move on to the next place, hassle free. And the drinks are cheap and tasty.
I am thoroughly impressed with Blackbird Tavern from service to food to decor. I try to make food photos look abundant but as a writer, I tell you the portions are pretty small. Because all three dishes were a hit with all ladies in our group, I think its still worth a visit. Those grits and that cous cous - the chef sure knows how to handle his grains. Those shrimps could be prawns though and that charcuterie platter was one pricey appetizer. Our server was great. My friend has now been served by him twice and they have totally become best friends. Try to catch Blackbird Tavern on a live Jazz night, I bet it's great. When I am downtown, I mostly hang out on First Street because I like Cafe Stritch, Koji, 55 South, and now Blackbird Tavern. They're just a bit mellower and away from the hustle.