MMMMkay, here's the tasting menu
bouche- smoked sturgeon with green almonds
Peanut gazpacho with cured hiramasa, rhubarb, pine, brittle peanut and green peppercorn
Crispy maryland soft shell crab with honey custard, edamame, yuba and soy caramel
Seared ahi with green garbanzos, picholine olives, smoked buttermilk and candied wild rice
Hudson valley foie gras torchon with black garlic, green strawberries and shrimp salt
Crispy walleye with green papaya, dandelion greens, walnuts and charred beef vinaigrette
Stuffed bobwhite quail with black cumin sausage, charred avocado and house-made giardiniera
Grilled wagyu flat iron and warm bone marrow with pickled cippolini onions, caraway crumble, chickweed and pomegranate molasses
Intermezzo of cherry sorbet with cherries and cocoa nibs
White honey parfait with coconut sponge, passion fruit, rum and caramelized white chocolate
Hazelnut dacquoise with espresso, crispy chicory caramel and apricot kernel sherbet
Menu sounded delicious, I was excited to try it. Tasting was $100, wine pairings were $50. They poured a champagne with the bouche and the first course (sorry guys, don't remember any exact wines). The gazpacho was interesting, and it tasted good, but the peanut flavor overpowered everything else, w hich was sad for the fish and the rhubarb.
Second course was the softshell and was served with a vouvray. The softshell was fantastic. I'm not especially a big fan of deep fried softshell-- much prefer panfried, but this was a good course. Perfectly cooked edamame.
Third course was tuna and they poured an Adelsheim Pinot Gris. Tuna was perfectly cooked, and the rice was a great little sweet, crunchy bite. But the smoked buttermilk just made very little sense and tasted strange. Still a good course though.
Fourth course-- Torchon. They poured a late harvest gewurtz from OR. The wine was great, BTW. And the torchon was great. Very well made torchon. However, black garlic is a VERY forward flavor to serve with foie. It overpowered it. That, and they garnished with whole cilantro leaves (full size, not micro) which also overpowered it a bit.
Oh, and Lish doesn't like foie, so they subbed her a sweetbread dish. (Glazed veal sweetbreads with with lime onions, tamarind, bee pollen and fried chocolate ) This course was wonderful. I actually wish I had the sweetbreads instead of torchon. So good.
Course 5- walleye. Probably my favorite savory of the night. The walleye had about a quarter inch thick layer of crisp on the presentation side, and the rest was just so silky smooth. I asked the waiter if the fish had been sous vide (it wasn't), that is how beautiful the texture on this fish was. Just masterfully cooked. The papaya was sweet, the dandelion greens bitter, and the charred beef vin was acidic. The charred beef vinaigrette was paper thin slices of beef shaped into cylinders and dehydrated. They tasted great, and were crunchy, but afterward they were very chewy and took a while to get down. So that is a minus. Oh, Provencal rose with this.
Course 6 was the quail and was rather forgettable. The homemade black cumin sausage was interesting, but the rest of the course was rather blah. They poured a 04 Gigondas with this. Paired very well.
7- Wagyu. With this they poured an 07 Ridge Lytton Springs. This course was very well done. The wagyu was understated, and integrated into the course rather than just being some "prize protein" like a lot of America tasting menus seem to treat it as. The whole course worked together very well and the wine pairing was spot on.
Mezzo-- beautiful cherry sorbet, with quite honestly the best cherries i've ever tasted. Very sweet and fruity, complemented by the bitter cocoa nibs. Good mezzo.
course 8- The most perfect dessert I've ever had in my life. Seriously, I give this dessert a 9.9 out of 10. The ONLY problem with this dessert were the little rum "caviar." It was just unecessary. It didn't add anything to the dish, so in a way it detracted. But still, the warm coconut sponge was incredible, the whit ehoney parfait was so delicately and subtly sweet that it was beautiful. The passionfruit fluid gel was a revelation . I love passionfruit when it is used well. So wonderfully bright and sweet but also acidic and slightly sour. It was used perfectly here. And the caramelized white chocolate added just the perfect note of a heft to an otherwise very light dessert. It complemented so well. This was paired with a sweet grenache that was okay.
Final course: Hazelnut dacquoise. Very well done, but at this point, it would have been impossible to beat the previous course. Flavors and textures were spot on, though. They poured a brandy with this.
Overall thoughts: new chef de cuisine is doing things very well. I think a little bit of the menu was too "intellectualized" and made for the chef rather than for the customers. But it all still tasted good. Some courses had certain parts that stand out as "why is this really here" which is too bad, because every component of every course was prepared very well, so that detracts from the plate.
I havce and will continue to recommend it to anyone in town. The wine pairings were FULL glasses, not even joking. By the end of the night, I had downed 8 glasses of wine and a pour of brandy. For $50, that is pretty damn insane. And the wines were all quite good, and the pairings all worked.
Also, I would recommend going in for lunch, since they're currently doing the 3 course prix fixe deal. And no matter when you go, please make sure to get the white honey parfait. I would honestly go in to blackbird again just for that dessert. I cannot honestly capture in words how perfect it was.