3800 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Monday - Thursday 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday - Saturday 8:00 - 11:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
The Blackbird is a neighborhood joint. The people I see dining there I see at the grocery store or the gas station or the food coop or while biking around. It is generally a casual crowd - it looks like friends or families meeting up for lunch or getting together mid-afternoon for a glass of wine and beer or later for dinner. There are always a handful of people there and at times it can get crowded, but it always feels friendly and comfortable. We have been going to the Blackbird since it opened on 50th and Bryant. It was a good place to go with small children because they had kid food and very well done adult food. The place burned down in February 2010 and reopened several months later at 38th and Nicollet. This is a neighborhood place with a bistro vibe that seems to get just a little bit better each time you go. They serve breakfast and Lunch during the week (8 am – 2 pm). Breakfast is an upscale take on your classic breakfast chow while lunch includes a selection of a soup, a couple of salads, a rice bowl, a noodle bowl, and 4 sandwiches. Breakfast or lunch will set you back from $10 to $13. For years the dinner menu had a Walleye Po’Boy – corn meal crust, pickled red cabbage and Cajun mayo - that was addictive. I would have it 8 or 9 times in row before trying something else. That is gone now, replaced by a menu broken down into Salads, Pasta, Fish, Meat, and Vegetable. The food is creative, often mixing it up with creative blends of herb and spices. How about Romanesco with coconut curry, pine nuts and Thai basil or beets, chard, pepitas, polenta chips, and chipotle buttermilk dressing? The pork belly with melon, hot peppers and pistachio vinaigrette is sinfully decadent. On my last visit I had chicken sausage, wild mushrooms, cornbread, kale, pickled jalapeño and bbq sauce. Outrageous! There is nothing on the menu that you will find anywhere else. Head Chef Peter Lutz has crammed the dinner menu with items that immediately catch the imagination of the diner.
I reviewed the Blackbird in 2013 and complained about the beer list. They have improved. The current selection of 15 bottles or cans has one beer I would not drink. The rest are chosen to complement the menu and no matter what you order their list has an appropriate beer. Their Current (11-7-17) beer list has the following beers that i have reviewed:
They also have a selection of 8 ciders – 2 local, two from Finnriver (Washington), an English dry (Aspall), and 3 from France. It’s a delightful selection and like the beer list, has something that will pair well with each menu item.
They have a big wine list and Nancy finds it interesting. I generally stick with beer or, rarely, cider.
Having good restaurants within biking or walking distance from our house is one reason we chose the neighborhood some 36 years ago. Over the years our choices have grown and flourished. The Blackbird and its continual evolution to better and better dining certainly confirms our choice of neighborhood. Even if you don’t live nearby, it is worth a visit. 11-9-17