The highlight of lunch yesterday was most definitely dessert at Blackbird. Or, more accurately, nine desserts. If you’ve ever dined with me, you know I’m likely to order two desserts when I’m having a hard time deciding. I’m a big believer in having your cake and eating it too.
Even I have never ordered nine desserts at once though. In my defense, I did not actually order all of these desserts. Blackbird’s talented Dana Cree (she was just nominated as a James Beard semifinalist) just decided that my lovely dining companions and I should try every dessert on her menu. Twist my arm.
Have you ever seen such intricate cheese plates? Certainly not in Chicago. Cree’s desserts all manage to be light and not too sweet, with a complex and delicate balance of intriguing flavors and textures. She’s so creative that even reading the menu description, you have no idea how she’ll surprise you by bringing it all together on the plate. There’s a lot going on in every dish, but never an errant ingredient. Cree might use teff flour in her crepes or add parsnip to cookies and milk, but even when it sounds odd on paper, it always tastes great. Sometimes the ingredients aren’t readily identifiable and you have to take a second look at your menu to figure out what you’re eating, but every component adds another layer to savor.
Without further ado, feast your eyes on this deliciousness. Cree’s menu changes frequently and she never repeats herself, so if you like what you see, make a beeline for Blackbird. And let me know if you need a dining companion.