The Black Sheep Restaurant Chicago

by brendan on July 14, 2011

I haven’t written a post in quite a lone while, and while I wake up everyday with the best intentions to get my ass in gear and start posting about all sorts of deliciousness, work, kids, and life seem to get in the way. I’ve needed a bit of a kick in the ass to get me back on the horse again, and I thought I had it a few days ago as I started to write a post about my new adventures in sausage making, but then I saw something shiny and chased after it and then forgot what I was doing. Then, the real kick in the ass came, finally a real motivating factor for me to share something,  two words: Bacon Royal.

I supped last night at a new addition to our neighborhood, The Black Sheep, with someone on my team visiting from out of town. It opened about a month ago and I had been reading mixed reviews that basically said “Great Food, Shit Service” which wasn’t too distressing since it was a brand new restaurant. It started popping up on a few different Chicago food blogs over the past few weeks with some pretty positive reviews and I decided it was time to give it a shot.

The quick rundown is that it’s going for this punk/metal/fine dining mix and to that end, the interior does a decent job, but to be honest, it looks a lot like most other sleek, fine dining places: blacked out windows, simple dark furniture, low lights, open kitchen, etc. The only big difference was the music selection which was hard and fast.

Overall, I dug the open kitchen, the service was good, and the cocktails were good, but at this point, with so many restaurants offering up high end/creative cocktails, I expect the cocktails to be good. We had a nice steak tar tar amuse and a starter with fish 4 ways, which was also good.

The Black Sheep DinnerThe real stars were the entrees. My dining companion ordered the chicken thighs with bacon puree which ended up being this “roulade” of chicken thigh meat, cooked sous vide style, and served on top of this amazing bacon gravy. It was fantastic. I opted for the red fish, which came out nice and crispy, and also featured a 5 minute chicken egg perched atop some pork rillettes. The final piece of that puzzle was something they called Bacon Royal, which ended up being a bacon Hollandaise sauce that was liberally poured onto the plate, and was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. So good, and so simple – why haven’t I ever thought about substituting some bacon fat for some of the butter in a Hollandaise sauce? I’ve been so blind.

In the end, I would come back again and would probably try the tasting menu – they had two versions and both looked interesting. One ominous note is that the place was not hopping. It was a Wednesday night at six there was only us and another table, and by the time we left, there were 4 or 5 tables total. The bar was busy, and they do stay open (and serve food) until 2am, which is awesome, so maybe they don’t get crowds until later. We will see.

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