Thursday, December 15, 2011

Black Market- Revisit

So this was a tough one for me….My first visit to Black Market was really good—I really enjoyed just about everything I ate.  This review is actually my third return visit—I didn’t write up the second one because it was not so good and I thought maybe it was just an off night because it was so different from my first visit.  This most recent visit was better than the last, but didn't meet the high of the first... I don't know if is just a matter of taste preference or if the finesse from the first visit has just worn off….anyway, these are my thoughts on my most recent visit….
We started with the house cured salmon and chips with capers and egg and lemon crème fraiche ($11).  This may have been my favorite item of the evening.  It was fairly simple, but the salmon was very well done. It was light and fresh tasting and while I liked the lemony crème fraiche and some of the egg (more like an egg salad actually) or pickled beets with the fish, hubby thought the accompaniments detracted from the salmon because it was so good on its own.  The chips were also housemade –they were thick cut potato chips and honestly they were just a little too hard and crunchy for me.  Almost hard to break with your teeth.  I would love to see some thinner chips with this dish.  But overall, like I said, it may have been my favorite dish because it had bright flavors and several components that I mostly enjoyed together.
Next we had the fried mozzarella and fennel sausage plate ($11).  This one was not bad, the sausage coming locally from the Smoking Goose.  It had a distinctive fennel taste, but was warm and hearty and I enjoyed it even if sausage doesn’t tend to be my favorite thing. Hubby particularly enjoyed it. The fried cheese (cheese made in house) wasn’t bad either, but I guess maybe there is only so far you can go with fried cheese.  There was a red onion/tomato jam served alongside which again was good, but maybe just a tad sweet for me.  Actually, that was probably my main problem with this dish and our next one, they were a little too on the sweet side for me.  I realize that these kind of sweet rich flavors are often used in fall and winter dishes, but there was just something missing to balance it here for me.
The same was true of the last dish we shared---the buttermilk fried quail with cheddar polenta, roasted apples and bacon ($23).  The quail was good. I really enjoyed the buttermilk fried part of it—I would love to maybe see this on some chicken or something a little bigger as gnawing on small bony birds isn’t as much fun (for me anyway—this one had most all of its bones in it still).  Like I said, the quail itself was tasty, and I do appreciate the slightly more gamey taste to other larger birds. The polenta was not bad, but there wasn’t a lot of cheddar flavor to me and I don’t know, the sweetness of the apples just wasn’t doing it for me either.  The whole dish was also drizzled with a maple syrup type glaze.  I think maybe my problem was there just wasn’t enough other flavors to balance out this amount of sweetness.   Also the slice of bacon on the plate was completely undercooked, totally soft and white.  I looked at it for a long time before I even realized what it was.
The main thing we sort of discussed as we ate the dishes is that they just didn’t seem to come together the same way as they did the first time we were there (and the second time I went, without hubby, I found both my dishes very under-seasoned).  I think maybe I will wait til spring and go back when they offer some brighter flavors. I just wasn’t really digging most of what we had.
Ok, for dessert though, when you are wanting and expecting sweets, we really enjoyed the flavors in the caramel pie. It was a special and was made with a chocolate crust with basically just lots of ooey, gooey, and salty caramel pouring out of it.  There was whipped cream on top (way too much actually) and some more smoky salt.  We both quite enjoyed this.  But here, even with a pure sweet, it was better balanced with the salt.
So, the thing is, nothing was BAD, and nothing was great.  I am not writing off Black Market though, because I totally know what they are capable of. I am just really glad neither of these last two meals were my first, or I might not have as willingly returned.
Black Market
922 Massachusetts Avenue
Indy 46202


  1. I've never been to this restaurant and went to check out their menu and noticed the items you ordered are no long on it... Do you know how often they change the menu?? I found a couple items I'd like to try and was wondering how soon we should make it out there, this time of year is crazy!

  2. "So, the thing is, nothing was BAD, and nothing was great."


  3. I wouldn't give up on this place yet. I went for the first time tonight, and it was great. The welsh rarebit appetizer was delicious- the cheese was so creamy and had just a little kick to it. I also had the lamb, and it was great. It was really different, lots of interesting flavors. The best thing was the cheese fries with house cured bacon. While the bacon was undercooked, the fries were still delicious and really addictive. We also had friendly servers (seated at the bar). I will definitely go back (although it is pricey).