Would we go back:
815 W 50th Street
• Crawfish Hotdish $9.95 (shared)
• Char with risotto, salsa verde and red cabbage $21.95
• Carrot Cake $5.95
I really like Blackbird Cafe. It is easily one of those neighborhood restaurants that you wish you had near you. And since Heidi's is literally right next door, I think that neighborhood has their share of great neighborhood restaurants.
Blackbird does not take reservations so we decided to go a bit earlier than our normal 7ish time frame, but there was already a 30 minute wait. Luckily besides being next door to Heidi's it is also near Patina so it is pretty easy to waste away 30 minutes there.
The food was great and the service very good. I really only have two complaints with Blackbird, one totally my own problem and the other a bit of theirs. The first is that I could not for the life of me get out of my head the song "Bye, Bye, Blackbird", so I felt a bit distracted throughout the meal. The second is the special price being higher than the normal entree price or in this case any other entree price. And furthermore not mentioning what the price of the special is, which if it is in the normal entree range is not big deal, but when it is not, just let people know. I know I could ask, but I really don't feel as though I should have to. Now this is something that many places do and it always irks me, but in this case I think it turned Blackbird from an excellent to a good restaurant.
• Pork Confit with root vegetabe hash $15.95
• Chocolate Mousse $5.95
Hot, Hot, Hot. That describes Blackbird Cafe on the Saturday night we visited. Blackbird Cafe does not take reservations, and with a recent positive review in the City Pages, there was a half hour wait for a table, even when we left there was a crowd waiting at the bar.
So, down to brass tacks. The pork entree was outstanding. Blackbird Cafe does it right, where the meal falls off the bone. The juicy meat must have been slow cooked for hours it's so delicious. The accompanying root vegetable hash with bacon was also tremendous.
I was less impressed with the crawfish hotdish. As Renee commented after we returned, it was good quality, fresh crawfish. That surprised me for Minnesota. Renee thought there were too many potatoes. I thought the cheese drowned the crawfish. If we return, I would try a different appetizer.
I could have skipped dessert, the cafe mocha and wine were awesome, but the chocolate mousse was below average.
If I had to prognosticate, Blackbird will do well for years because they do so much right at a decent price, in a good location, and they do a few things like no one else.
January 12, 2008