T and I hadn’t had a date night since Q’s arrival. Both of us have been hesitant to introduce babysitters into the mix – not at least until Q is much bigger. When his mom came into town to spend some extra time with him before Christmas, we decided it was a perfect opportunity for us to bust out of the house for one night and indulge in hot food and yes, even a few adult beverages.
I’d been curious about Black Barn for quite some time. Bordering Madison Square Park, I always noticed it during the day off to the corner. It just had that look like it would be our style. You know how sometimes you can tell that from the facade of an establishment? It totally had that in it’s favor without my even looking up reviews or menus online. T let me choose a bottle of wine and I went with a dry white from Stellenbosch, South Africa. Made me think of my wonderful trip to the region back in 2012.
We started with an order of their grilled baby octopus. It always feels funny to me having grilled octopus in the winter as I always see it as more of a summertime dish – likely because I had it for the first time on the grill in the Hamptons during the brutal heat of August. The octopus at Black Barn though was spot on. It was served with a chickpea puree, fennel, orange and a sundried tomato gremolata.
We decided to get an order of the pickled and roasted carrots, which were served with burrata and quinoa and topped with purslane. I really love carrots but find when you order it at most places, it’s a bit of a throwaway dish. Typically it ends up being more of a side dish that is pretty generic – but woah, not the case here. This dish was super filling – a more substantial veggie option. I loved the mix of a variety of types of carrots. The burrata was an unexpected contrast to the carrots. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the dish. Definitely something I’d happily have daily if I could.
For our main dish, we had their IPA braised pork shank prepared with broccoli rabe, roasted peppers, fresh lemon zest and a salsa verde. We were expecting a decent portion but wow, this was a big dish! Perfect for sharing. Filling and flavorful, this was a perfect main for our line-up for the evening.
It was no question when it came to dessert selection. We had to try the bourbon maple ice cream cake. It was accompanied by bacon bits and their version of chocolate magic shell. What’s there not to love about an upscale version of a childhood favorite? It lived up to and even exceeded my expectations. Highly recommend.
This spot more than delivered. I’d love to check out their chef’s tasting next time. Note – they currently only have this available on Wednesday evenings.
Black Barn – 19 East 26 Street – 212.265.5959