In celebration of the summer solstice yesterday, BLACKBARN hosted a happy hour featuring unique cocktails and their exciting upcoming seasonal menu.
BLACKBARN is an American restaurant situated right by Madison Square Park, home to some gorgeous views overlooking the park. Madison is one of my favorite parks in the city, and it’s a hotspot for the city’s cutest dogs, which makes this restaurant the perfect spot for soaking up the summer sun and adorable pup watching. But that’s only the beginning of what BLACKBARN has to offer – their farm-to-table menu delights clientele with local ingredients, artisan flavors and techniques, and a cozy “modern barn” interior that feels like a special treat and makes you feel right at home.
Chef and Owner John Doherty and Executive Chef Brian Fowler gave us some of the inspiration behind their new menu – they love to cook together and test out new flavors on classic warm-weather dishes. We got to see that first hand in some of the samplers during the night. Imagine the quintessential New England summer fare, the lobster roll, eaten sitting by a pier and listening to the songs of seagulls. The chefs gave it a twist by covering it in a red curry glaze and serving it with gazpacho. Now picture a grill party or long afternoons spent by the pool – wedges of watermelon are served at every chance, the perfect refreshment to quench your thirst in the heat. This summer staple was grilled and cut into bite-sized pieces, and served on a mini skewer with halloumi cheese and heirloom tomatoes.
Our favorite dishes were the grilled tomahawk steak, the lobster roll, and the prawns with corn and tomato salsa served in a lettuce wrap. Some of the other delightful dishes we got to try from their summer menu were the chicken milanese slider, roasted carrot and papadum cracker with green pea hummus and za’atar, cucumber and tomato labneh salad. For dessert, we tried their chocolate-cherry sundae which featured an orange homemade marshmallow, and their passionfruit sorbet bathed in a lemon balm broth. Both were impressively creative and also delicious!
The unique cocktails mentioned earlier were some of the evening’s highlights. The Porchlight, a rose and jasmine tea cocktail with sorbet, was a refreshing, tangy, and perfect for unwinding on a summer Friday. The root beer float with rum takes you back to childhood vacations, frothy and sweet. BLACKBARN’s was finished off with shavings of chocolate. The coffee ____ was a slushy-frappuccino, and offered the perfect option to switch up your espresso martini order for the warmer weather. Finally, the matcha cocktail was surprisingly cooling with notes of cucumber and mint.
BLACKBARN truly captures the spirit of American summer, with a modern twist. For those who love to experiment with modern flavor, but also love the feeling of indulging in comfort food, make your reservation at BLACKBARN asap to try out their new seasonal menu!