Abstract dining

In my experience, there are just two kinds of restaurants: 1. Blacktree and 2. every place else.

Yes, Blacktree truly deserves its own category. It’s not like other restaurants, where you eat to satisfy your hunger, or you eat to enjoy the company, or you eat because you’re craving that big juicy burger. At Blacktree, you eat for the experience.

Blacktree restaurant Burlington, Ontario

Dining under chef Matteo’s roof is like an abstract painting. At first you’re like “Dude, why is there a lightbulb in that eyeball?” (Picasso’s Guernica anyone?) But then once you look at it as a whole, it all makes sense.

Meals with orange foam and marinated mushrooms on the same plate might seem like a gross science experiment to some, but once you get all those flavours into one forkful, you’re pleasantly surprised at how such different components can make such a perfect whole.

On Wednesday night we went to the Blacktree for my dad’s belated birthday dinner. Of course wine was our first thought. I was happy to see the Black River Malbec that I had at The Martini House on the menu, so I ordered a glass of that.

Blacktree restaurant: Black River Malbec

We started off with warm bread served with fois gras butter. I’ve tried fois gras before and I can’t say I’m a fan, but I liked it in the small amounts in the butter.

Blacktree restaurant: bread and fois gras butter

For the amuse bouche we were brought out monkfish with a rice paper crisp, marinated yellow bean, and pansy petals.

Blacktree restaurant: amuse bouche

I had a hard time deciding on an appetizer because they all looked so good, but I eventually decided on the same thing as my mom and sister: House made ricotta cheese, dehydrated red onion and tomato, olive tapenade, basil jelly and foam.

Blacktree restaurant: house made ricotta cheese with dehydrated red onion and tomato

This was amazing! The flavours may have been a predictable pairing (and that’s only because they were so well with each other. Why mess with a good thing?), but the textures and cooking methods were so unexpected. I mean, dehydrated veggies? How cool! I even sat for a few minutes with the last bite on my fork because I didn’t want the experience of eating this appetizer to end.

To cleanse the palate, a tamarillo “egg”.

And for my entree, I had Alaskan black cod, a fried salt cod ball, lobster confit, sweet potato, yellow beans, edamame, and shitake mushrooms.

Blacktree restaurant: Alaskan black cod

Also an amazing dish – the cod just melted in my mouth! The mushrooms were also a highlight for me. They went so well with the orange-ginger sauce (I think?) on the plate.

As always, I was sad when the meal was over and we had to leave. But we already have another reservation made for August – I can’t wait!!!

Blacktree on Urbanspoon


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15 Responses to Abstract dining

  1. What a fancy, pretty place!! I'm not a big fish person, but that cod looks so good!! :)

  2. This is so interesting! I really love restaurants that are a true experience. There are a few places in my town that remind me of this restaurant, but sadly they are way out of my price range. I really enjoyed reading this!

  3. Sounds and looks deliicous! I love fine dining :) Oh and I loved the Guernica reference too haha

  4. the food looks sooooo amazing! what a FANCY place..and I am impressed you broke out your camera there :) thanks for doing it and for the pics!

  5. Oooh this is so cool – what a fun eating experience :)

  6. Those courses sound so cool! Surely a very different dining experience. I would love to try something like that someday. The basil jelly and foam sound really interesting!!

  7. Ooo girl you know I'm all about the crazy combinations, so a place like this would be right up my alley! The food seriously looks amazing, though, an I love the presentation. You know it's a good place when you can't wait until your next visit :D

  8. Oooh! Vishnu and I really want to try out a restaurant like this. The science lover in him and the foodie in me would absolutely love the experience! I'm glad y'all had fun…everything looks and sounds delish. :)

  9. Wow that looks wicked fancy. Am I right that fois gras is fatty duck liver? My attending physician was talking about that this week, but I'd never really heard of it.

  10. Oh my gosh I want to go to one of these kinds of restaurants SO BADLY! This looks awesome!

  11. Looks like a lovely restaurant!

  12. What a fancy dish! Looks delish :)

  13. omg, that restaurant sounds DELISH! I love the appetizer you guys got, I want to get something like that sometime for sure:)

  14. Blacktree looks deeee-lish! I might have to drop a hint to my parents for my upcoming birthday lol

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