619 W. Randolph
Chicago Illinois 60661United States
Blackbird could go toe-to-toe with any fine-dining restaurant when it comes to elaborate presentation, foodie-worthy cuisine and knowledgeable waitstaff.
Blackbird is a modern fine-dining restaurant that foodies dream of, from the menu offerings to the decor. The dining room looks kind of like a train car as envisioned by the Jetsons -- minimalist mod. It's a long, elegant, horizontal space that's sleek, subdued and done in monochromatic hues: black, white, gray and beige, with metallic highlights. The restaurant itself is tiny. It's so small women have to hang their purses on a table hook, because there isn't room for them under a chair or on the floor. But the cozy confines at Blackbird are just that -- cozy without being uncomfortable. And despite the proximity of diners, the noise level is subdued, no more than a pleasant murmur. As for the food, we tried the Full Blackbird -- a nine-course tasting menu with wine pairings. (A three-hour extravagance that totaled $300-plus for two diners. Regular entrees run $29 to $42.) The food was brilliant -- inventive and playful, with gorgeous presentations that bordered on over-the-top. It was delicious. Courses included garbanzo bean soup with falafel, pickled Asian pear, caramelized egg yolk and sumac; slow-poached Tasmanian sea trout with persimmon molasses, eggplant confit and chamomile; roasted Colorado lamb saddle with salsify, fried lentils, licorice root and smoked olives; and chestnut brioche with pear, Pedro Ximenez and Tarragon ice cream. It was epic, and we were exhausted by the time the final dessert/port pairing came out, but it was well worth the experience. The tasting menu changes frequently; check online for current offerings. If you are a steak and potatoes kind of diner, Blackbird is not for you. If you don't mind paying top-dollar for concoctions that defy the imagination of regular civilians, Blackbird is an ultimate splurge.