Blackbarn Black Barn John Doherty Blackbarn Blackbarn
19 E. 26th St. (Madison Ave.)
New York, NY 10010
Cuisine: American / Italian
American farm-to-table dining by Madison Park.
Openings: Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.-Sun.
Blackbarn, New York, NY

Blackbarn Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant & décor: Chef-owner John Doherty has a lot of experience preparing American cuisine. In fact, his résumé lists a long line of American presidents as his clients over his 30 years presiding at the kitchen of the storied Waldorf-Astoria. He has taken this knowledge and his passion for ingredients sourced from local and regional farms to Blackbarn where he serves upscale farm-to-table food in a spacious, rustic setting. Leading to the main dining area is a convivial lounge where you can begin your evening with cocktails, a glass of wine and small bites. The space creates a feeling of unpretentious relaxation with wood beams constructed to effect rafters that call to mind an American barn, here filled with happy guests rather than livestock. The room is buzzy as tables are close to each other, but if you can score a seat next to the open kitchen you’ll have a more spacious meal either for your own party or as part of a Chef’s Table with a menu that evolves each month. Several private rooms, including a downstairs wine cellar, allow for more intimate dining.

Likes: The room is warm, inviting and lively; the menu has a tasty Italian accent and the wine list is a conversation starter.
Dislikes: None.

Food & Drinks: The seasonally focused fare fuses savory with sweet tastes and ranges from game to steak, chicken, fish and shellfish. Among Italian-inflected appetizers is the vegetarian chestnut gnocchi. A white pizza dressed with porcini mushrooms and finished with truffle oil is a must-order; in springtime, figs replace the mushrooms. Two people can enjoy the grilled branzino, an ideal sea-to-table dish served simply with grilled lemon and vegetables from the nearby Union Square greenmarket. Or, if you prefer meat, the wild boar raviolo is a hearty choice as are the BBQ beef ribs given a smoky halo from a vibrant chipotle-orange rub. Can't make up your mind? Blackbarn's version of surf and turf is an elegant New York strip steak with tiger prawns that comes with black truffle mac 'n cheese and a frisée-spinach salad. For dessert, American favorites change, too, with sticky toffee cake, butterscotch-laced bread pudding and apple cider donuts examples of pastry chef Anwuli Obidi’s deft translations of classics. A selection of cheeses pairs well with Blackbarn’s after-dinner list of amaros, grappa and Armagnac. Wine is as important as the cuisine, and sommelier Andrija Tadejevic is a pro at mixing up familiar American, European and South American vintages with labels from lesser-known new-world and old-world wineries like El Enemigo in Mendoza or Rojac Malvazija from the Istrian peninsula in Slovenia.

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