Still the winner:
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Peachy Deegan and Executive Chef Matteo Bergamini of Black Barn Restaurant
Still the winner:
Still the winner:
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The Pittsburgh Penguins never
won their Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992 without Hartford making the absolutely monumental mistake of trading Ron Francis to Pittsburgh, giving the Penguins a #2 Center behind Mario Lemieux; Francis was the #1 center for many years in Hartford and would have been #1 in most franchises. (Mover and Shaker Howard Baldwin we believe drafted Ronnie but was NOT the owner that traded him away.)
The Edmonton Oilers dynasty of the 1980's was not all Wayne Gretzky: it was also Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, many others and Mark Messier, otherwise known to New York as the Messiah who made the life of many New Yorkers in 1994.
But wait, you are not reading NHL Peachy.
You are reading our first Al Fresco review of the season.
Guess who has summer NHL withdrawl.
Black Barn's #2 Center is Executive Chef Matteo Bergamini and we were thrilled to work with him this time. Matteo and his culinary talents and sparkling personality are testament to the depth of this venue.
We already know that owner John Doherty knows what he is doing.
You should all be extremely excited for his upcoming star interview!
Black Barn was first featured in Terrific Takeout in early 2016:
and it promptly graduated to Peachy's Picks:
We like it when we see planning and people thinking ahead that are excited to see us!
But you knew we loved Black Barn already.
What you need to know now is that this American culinary master venue is also simply fabulous outside!
We totally felt like we were at home-Peachy is from outside of Hartford-because the red umbrellas mean Travelers to us...now Citigroup. Black umbrellas you know would be ridiculously hot. Located at 19 East 26th Street, Black Barn borders Madison Square Park: it trumps all the streets and avenue restaurants that are not near such greenery and beauty. Also we noticed two dogs in attendance owned by other people, so if you like to bring your dog to dinner they seemed quite happy.
We strongly suggest you plan ahead to acquire one of the coveted seven tables that total 16 seats outside. Matteo is a total peach and discussed summer changes to the menu with us before we began.
Oooh la la you know you want to befriend that Maine Lobster Salad, but only briefly because you will want to delicately devour it!
Matteo and John thoughtfully alter dishes to make them seasonal. You will see that this item in our spring review looks slightly different. Here, the lobster profile of sensational lobster meat with flawless flavor is further wowed by little gem, mango, and scallions. If you like Thai overall and Thai curry dressing specifically, that comes with this. We asked for it on the side and they were happy to do that.
Everything you eat at Black Barn is highly aesthetically pleasing and much more so than at its competitors.
You absolutely have to find out what the specials are. This was a special of the night and not printed out: Heirloom Cherry Tomato salad, crafted by Matteo.
This salad is by far of the freshest tomatoes we've had all year, anywhere.
They are AMAZING.
We would go back to only eat these tomatoes.
Joined by arugula and sugar snaps, the tomatoes are sweet, juicy and the epitome of delicious.
Manhattanhenge happens at Black Barn!
Peachy does not order chicken too often because most places do not do a spectacular job at it.
But since Black Barn does such a phenomenal job at everything else we've experienced, we looked to the Wood Grilled section of the menu to discover Crisp Skinned Amish Chicken.
You're going to be happy to see those tomatoes again!
Here they arrive in style in a panzanella salad with succhini, basil, grilled onions and sherry vinegar. The quality in the chicken is evident in each bite of the generous portion of two pieces.
Of course everyone knows what Peachy's favorite cocktail is, but in the meantime while she and Charles sort out where to have it next, she was happy to try the Snakebite. Strawberry and rhubarb is a brilliant combination, period, and muddled strawberry, Zucca which is infused with rhubarb, fresh rhubarb syrup and fresh lemon teamed up to form a solid cocktail. During this review we were also delighted to see Beverage Manager Jay Akin, who is the spitting image of Colin from one of our favorite movies, Love Actually. He has completed Level 2 (of 4) Sommelier.
Do not miss the side of brussels sprouts!
They bring spectacular bacon to the party also.
Cucumber salad accompanies the BBQ Beef Ribs during the summer.
This has been Peachy's favorite thing to eat in Manhattan since she had it first in December 2015. She cannot even try ribs from any animal anywhere else now because she is consistently disappointed that they are not as great as John Doherty's.
They earn the highest marks for consistency and brilliantly sport their signature orange-chipotle rub and come with equally sensational shoestring fries.
It takes eight hours to craft these beauties.
You are going to cry your eyes out when they magically disappear.
But then, you'll just have to go back.
We cannot get enough of them!
By the way if you are wearing white and then start to wear them, you should consult Mover and Shaker John-Claude Hallak. Guess where Peachy's dress and part of the rib sauce are now!
If you listen carefully they say "Eat Me" like in Alice in Wonderland.
We do dream about these beef ribs.
On September 16, Black Barn will have its one year anniversary, and we suggest you toast them with Kilbeggan 15 year!
The bread pudding is the perfect closing and the best dessert at Black Barn!
Our esteemed panelist adds:
Enter into the country feel of Black Barn, and soak in the atmosphere. The high beams lift your spirit up to the levels of simple and concurrently, haute cuisine. At the heart of Black Barn is a sense of reverence, pride in the ingenious food combinations, and welcome to all who enter these doors. On a sultry summer eve in Manhattan, we chose to sit outside, enjoying the view of the cityscape and the lushness of Madison Square Park just opposite our table. Take in the sights and peruse the menu while you decide on a cocktail. Or opt for one of the revolving Rosé wines, always perfect for a summer meal and uber popular in the New York restaurant scene nowadays, according to our charming sommelier.
With the Irwin Farm Foraged Mushroom Toast, this diner enjoyed a glass of Pieropan "La Rocca", Veneto 2014 with its herbal edginess. The mushroom appetizer is certainly enough to share, and took me back to the fragrant forests of France. Succulent slices of sautéed mushrooms are well-balanced with dollops of taleggio and robiola on a thick slice of toast. Dressed with purple watercress, this part of the meal will place you in a most happy place, and ready for more.
We stayed with the Pieropan which had been recommended by the executive chef for the Curried Cauliflower Steak.
So named, we were told by our most affable chef because of the robust slice of the vegetable cut from the core and seared. It sits on a bed of cilantro raita, and is dressed with toasted pine nuts, shaved heirloom beets and delivers the smoothest balance of flavor.
No meat here, vegetarians. Just a pure perfect pairing of vegetables. Black Barn is one of those restaurants that does not look down its nose at vegetable dishes. No side treatments here. Their attitude lifts any dish to a place of fanfare and delight.
Perhaps it's time to switch to a rosé? The sommelier has explained that his choices for the rotating aspect of this pink delight tries to include 1/4 American, 1/4 Italian, 1/4 French, and 1/4 the rest of the world so as to offer Black Barn's patrons a tasting that invites weekly visits if only to savor the new offerings. For this evening, we have a Domaine de la Chaise, 2015. A crisp French wine, now accompanying the Diver Sea Scallops dish, and one to note.
The scallops are plated with a citrus salad that adds to the tender morsels, made crispy on the outside by the magic of the chef. Flavors again, always with a topnote and a subtle finish, for any selection you may choose. Allow me to digress one moment here to mention the fact that the wine list serves forth an array of sparkling wines primarily from France, and includes one we would like to go back to try: the Scharffenberger "Excellence" from California. The name traces the brand from it's days of purveying fine chocolates to creating fine wines,and this is one we have not yet tasted.
The list of spirits covers one entire side of a menu that covers everything from mezcal to single malt Macallan and beyond. Stop off from time to time for a drink, as the front of house is arranged like a tavern, indeed it is called the tavern and provides a separate menu for that area. On Sundays you could enjoy their Jazz Brunch, should you crave a bit of music with your libations.
The entire staff is accommodating and everyone who works here loves to expound upon the product. Whether the product be a particular ingredient in your meal, the meal itself, a cocktail choice, or the welcome vibe of Black Barn, the staff is here to meet, greet and serve up a wonderful meal.
To dessert, that most awaited finale of a truly memorable meal, we toast and enjoy a sweet, sweet moment. The dessert lady, otherwise known as the pastry chef
is also the ice cream lady. We did not have the pleasure of meeting her, but her creations are things of wonder.
The Orange Vanilla Eclair is a footlong pastry layered with artistic curls and swirls. We weren't warned beforehand, but this is most definitely best shared. Air somehow makes the chou pastry melt in your mouth as the marriage of creme chantilly and essence of orange waft into your memory banks.
Delightful, and then there's the "Pot de" cheesecake, topped with a strawberry compote, served with home made graham crackers. It's a different way to present a cheesecake idea, and innovative in its presentation.
The ice cream sandwich is so unlike any you've ever seen, or tasted: slices of cakey pastry centered with salty caramel ice cream. As the summer evening settles around us, and the West Side reflects views of Manhattanhenge in the distance, coffee is served. along with one of the choicest Amaros this diner has ever had the pleasure to taste. Amaro is one of those liqueurs savored like a fine whisky, introduced to me by an Italian/Franco opera singer. The variety is something to be discovered, as each village has its own secret formula. This, the Sibilla Varnelli is flavorful, filled with fragrant herbal essence, a touch of honey and whatever roots brewed to give a distinct edge to every sip. Cap the meal with an espresso and sigh in delight.
Black Barn is to be experienced, for its congenial executive chef, it's knowledgeable sommelier, its wait staff...and the atmosphere served with pride on every plate that comes out of this most excellent kitchen.
Peachy Picks Black Barn Restaurant Al Fresco!
Black Barn continues to be Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.