Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blackbird Dining Establishment - Collingswood, NJ

There really isn’t much else to say about my love for Blackbird Dining Establishment. This has proven to be one of my favorite restaurants, not just for the food, but for the service as well. With the move from its current location to Haddon the main drag in Collingswood happening in just a few weeks, we thought we would stop in for one final visit at the location where we fell in love with Chef Capasso’s cuisine.

I made a reservation earlier in the week, and we arrived a few minutes prior, and our table was ready. They had a nice 4 top in the window for us, in what I consider one of the best tables. I absolutely love these two tables in the windows, as do many others I’m sure. Janine sat us as I pulled out the Riedel’s along with a 2005 Maybach that I had decanted for sediment and let rest in the cellar for 4 hours prior to putting it back in the bottle and heading to Blackbird.

Janine asked us what kind of water we liked, and out it came as Adam came over to greet us and tells us about tonight’s special’s. He also noted that Chef Capasso had fresh truffle in the house, and this was another reason we came to visit tonight! =)  As you can see from the picture at the right, I did indeed take advantage of this, and yes, that is some fresh shaved truffle on my plate!  YUM!

We started with the Thai Chicken Spring Rolls, which came out hot and crispy, with 4 nice pieces of spring roll, filled with a nicely flavored chicken mixture. These were served on top of some thinly shave zucchini I think. It was almost like a fresh little salad, on the side of some sweet Thai chili sauce that was delicious. The spring rolls were also topped by a few pea tendrils that we absolutely love, but the real beauty of this dish was the spicy wasabi mustard that was to die for! Such great flavors, and so much flavor in the mustard! This was a great dish, and a very nice start!
For entrees tonight, Zelda just could not pass up the fresh, homemade pasta, and I really cannot blame her! She went with the linguine with wild mushrooms in a porcini sauce, with the fresh truffle add on. Is there really such a thing as too much tuber melanosporum? I don’t think so! As always, this was a great dish, and Chef Capasso knows how to make good fresh pasta! This pasta was nice and thin, and very flavorful! We’ve had this dish in the past, and the truffle really adds a nice new element to it. Can you really go wrong here? Again, no!

I went the rib eye route tonight, and got my steak on! This was a nice cut, cooked perfectly to medium, topped with asparagus, and I too got the fresh truffle add on. This was then served over a bed of Chef Capasso’s award winning mac ‘n cheese. The steak was very flavorful, and seasoned perfectly, and the asparagus was very nice as well. It was also topped with fried onions, but I removed these and ate these after the fact as a side as not to mask the flavor of the truffle.

As always, the mac ‘n cheese was a hit and delicious. This is different from the mac ‘n cheese that is served at Chef Capasso’s West Side Gravy, as this is more saucy. Even so, they are both delicious, and this could be a great meal in itself! But with the elaborate menu and so many good dishes at Blackbird, I would never order mac ‘n cheese on its own there! Well, maybe I would.

By this point, we were stuffed, and truly enjoying sipping the delicious ’05 Maybach, but we can’t go home without dessert, room or not! That said, we went with the chocolate 3 ways. For the life of me, I can’t remember what the 3 elements were called. In the center was a chocolate mousse of sorts, along with a chocolate filled éclair of sorts on the left, and a chocolate filled brownie of sorts on the right. All 3 were awesome, and we enjoyed them!

It’s always nice to shoot the bull with the staff. We talked to Janine about the progress at the new location, and she said it was coming along fast, and that they were excited! Who wouldn’t be excited though, with two great restaurants sharing the same kitchen at the same location? Chef Capasso also came over the see how everything was, and he was very excited as well. It’s nice that he really wants and honest opinion on his food, and truly cares that his customers have a great experience.

One thing to note is that Blackbird will be serving its last meal at the location we have grown to love on Sunday January 23rd, 2011. They will close that night and make the big move the week of January 24th, and they look forward to re-opening both Blackbird and West Side Gravy the first week of February at 714 Haddon Avenue on the main drag in Collingswood! We can’t wait!

In short, what’s there to say other than the fact that we had another delicious meal at Blackbird! It’s become one of our favorite restaurants, and we really can’t be anymore than thankful that friends Tom and Denise turned us on to Blackbird…and West Side Gravy too! It’s sad to see this chapter of Blackbird closing, but it is even more exciting to see a new chapter opening. Hopefully we can still get in as often, but I think they are going to have a lot more traffic at the new location! Congratulations to Chef Capasso and his staff, and we look forward to the opening of the new chapter! Cheers!

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