Monday, April 4, 2016
John Doherty excels in every aspect of hospitality at his first restaurant: Black Barn, best new Manhattan restaurant!
Fresh Origins is America’s leading producer of Microgreens and Edible Flowers. Combining the benefits of an ideal climate with a deep passion for quality and innovation, Fresh Origins products are sought after by the finest restaurants and top chefs. The farm is located in the picturesque rolling hills of San Diego County, where the near perfect weather allows for production and harvest all year. Fresh Origins produces almost 400 Microgreens, Petitegreens, Edible Flowers, Shoots, Tiny Veggies™ and related items. Many are not available anywhere else, with new introductions nearly every month. Fresh Origins products are on top of the finest cuisine in the world! Fresh Origins supplies distributors of specialty produce who serve fine dining restaurants and resorts nationwide. There are also a few online sources of their products available to private chefs and home cooks. Read our first Culinary Queen interview with Kelly Sasuga:
For more information about Fresh Origins, visit their website at
This is what perfection looks like.
In our 19,999th post, we are pleased to announce that the John Doherty Show continues (up Donegal) and that Black Barn Restaurant not only has joined the ranks of Peachy's Picks, but also is without a doubt the best new restaurant Manhattan has seen in quite some time, and definitely in the last year. Black Barn Restaurant is a modern classic that is here to stay and kill it in Manhattan.
You should expect nothing less than total excellence from a 30-year veteran chef of the Waldorf=Astoria who has brilliantly opted to venture out in an entrepreneurial endeavor with his childhood friend and business partner, Tom Struzzieri. Black Barn Restaurant is owned by these great two Americans!
The Waldorf's gigantic loss is your gain, and your stomach should sign up right now.
"My goal wasn't to be attached to any trend; my goal was to make a difference by being extraordinary."
-John Doherty, Owner and Executive Chef of Black Barn
It is extraordinary! From the opening bread basket that's a winner of breadsticks, sour dough, and black olive bread highlighted by a lovely concoction of roasted garlic, butter, balsamic, and evoo it will become apparent to you, the guest, that you are somewhere special. Even if you are Ms. I Don't Eat Olives you will like this bread.
We were greeted by Sancerre "Les Bouffants" 2014 Domaine Roger and Christophe Moreaux, a crisp, delightful Loire white that wowed us.
Black Barn was first featured after we visited in late 2015:
Amuse-bouche of popover cardamon and carrot puree with harissa sauce on top and spicy red peppers from North Africa accompanied the Sancerre, and appropriately ignited our appetite.
Our panelist, who has been a business mentor to Peachy Deegan for her many years in New York (and who also loves Cosmopolitan Dental) chose the Tarentaise Cheese Souffle (similar to gruyere) as his appetizer. Accentuated by speck-chive cream, this starter boasted exquisite presentation.
It was crisp and satisfying with fabulous opening taste and follow-through. The cheese is of American Origin: Thistle Hill Farm in Vermont.
For her appetizer, Peachy Deegan chose the Bone Marrow. It teams up with manila clams, lemon herb crumb and a shallot reduction for an extraordinary opening edible tap-dance by John Doherty. You will be wowed by this delicacy!
Often you know who drinks strong, rich, Italian reds and that's it...however, this time we were just going to listen to John given his phenomenal background. We were both seriously impressed with the second selection's ideal pairing with the salad course as we detected notes of white pepper and parsnip and vegetal notes overall by the Spiegel 2013 Austrian Anton Bauer.
Peachy Deegan chose the Kale Salad for her salad course. Avid readers know she is from the great state of Connecticut, where you automatically get a salad with your entree without asking. You order salads separately in Manhattan and you should choose this! Black Barn Restaurant pays acute attention to detail and will put the apple cider buttermilk dressing on the side if that is what your little heart desires. The roasted acorn squash is the star of this show that co-stars radicchio and of course kale.
The Maine Lobster Salad ordered by our panelist was truly superlative. Surprisingly exotic Thai curry dressing graces this crustacean that dances in an array of mango and scallions. The dish exclaims brilliant satisfaction. You should know that fish deliveries are six days a week at Black Barn Restaurant and a higher level of fresh cannot be found anywhere else.
"People ask me about the concept, and the concept is refined American food and wine with great service in a casual, rustic environment. I can tell you if you were to dine at this level anywhere else, you won't be listening to blues in a sophisticated, rustic setting. Local artisanal food in the comfort of a modern barn is who we are," says John Doherty.
We could not have been happier with the Kith and Kin by Round Pond Estate 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which was the ideal assist to the carnivorous goals scored in our stomachs. The first sip of this robust red embodied dinner goals like Wayne Gretzky's ice vision.
Menu boards are simple but elegant.
A vision, a plan and pure perseverance spell success for John Doherty at Black Barn Restaurant. Utensil rests are cut in Brooklyn. You'll sit in hand-stitched Spanish leather chairs. Grainy, wooden tables are crafted locally. The candle cover is perforated in industrial pipe in Michigan:
By design, what you see in the distance is rustic and coarse in texture yet at the table, all your senses are stimulated with refined elements that we adore.
The scent of the wood, the lull of the music and the 100% cotton napkin from Italy sitting in your lap only add to the whole divine experience.
Something we always fear when we return to a restaurant for the first time is not liking what we liked in the first place as much. There was clearly no need to have any kind of apprehension at Black Barn for the BBQ Beef Ribs, which were just as spicy and aromatic as the first time. Peachy dreamed of this dish for months and it still is one of the very best things if not the best thing you can eat in Manhattan right now.
You can bet that if we lived on the same block as Black Barn we would be there every day eating these and would have serious trouble visiting other venues. Grass-fed beef is enhanced by orange-chipotle rub yielding flavor that had Peachy's stomach doing celebratory cartwheels (but of course not literally).
For 14-16 months all cows are grass-fed and are finished on grain for the last four months of their life for a blend of grass and grain that produces an ideal marble effect.
The shoe string fries are also perfect but what do you expect from an Irishman!
All the flavors at Black Barn are a homage to excellence and will prove victorious over time as lesser trendy venues crash and burn again and again.
You know you want to be the first and coolest among your friends to frequent this venue.
Another firework of master proportion in the entree section is the Colorado Rack of Lamb, a magnificent triumph of carnivorous style so says our panelist. Braised shoulder stuffed rigatoni, sorana beans and escarole complete the dish. Our panelist, who has many years of high caliber dining experience in addition to our own, states: "John Doherty makes the experience at Black Barn Restaurant as if you were at his home and he is entertaining you personally. The food, the ambiance, and the possibilities are inspiring."
We think we have a lot of meat eaters reading us but if you are a vegetarian you will love to know that there is an entire section of the menu devoted to vegetarian entrees. John Doherty thinks of everything like no one else in the business.
The Chateau de Pesquie Muscat Beaumes de Venise, Cotes du Rhone from France is an ideal ooh la la to accentuate the fine flavors of dessert, which you cannot skip.
Though the chocolate souffle with vanilla sauce of perfection and the Apple Cider Doughnuts dancing in bourbon eggnog (both pictured below) are clearly fierce competition, the Stanley-Cup winning dessert for Peachy's stomach is without a doubt the Rum Butterscotch Bread Pudding with vanilla ice cream, above. It is simply to-die-for and you will revel in it.
Now you'll want all the red doors painted black.
Peachy Picks Black Barn Restaurant!
Black Barn is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.
You'll hate to leave.
But you'll look forward to your next visit!
(We do believe they will have an al fresco option for the good weather!)