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