Thursday, January 24, 2013

Black Market - Revisit


It has been awhile since we have been to Black Market, and I have had some up and down meals there, but I firmly believe that a place with an ever-evolving menu deserves to be re-visited.  Plus, I love the atmosphere of the place.  Modern and hip feeling, but not pretentious at all. On a random weeknight, the place was already doing a decent business by 6:30.  It is also an adult-only restaurant, which even though I have kids of my own, I can completely appreciate (when we go out without kids it doesn’t bother me a bit to only be around adults).

They lured me in on this night with the promise of the ceviche tostada ($10), which I had a version of the first time I went to Black Market.  This one was a little heavier, with the addition of a black bean puree under the fish (which was halibut and sea trout if I remember correctly).  It was all topped with a healthy dollop of Serrano cream.  The fish was marinated just right so that it was still tender and had the right amount of acidity from the marinade.  You needed the acid from that as well as the tangy cream to balance out the rich hearty black bean puree.  But it did indeed make it feel more like a winter dish. 

We also shared another starter, completely on the opposite end of the ceviche—the mushroom and chicken liver papardelle ($10).  I am a sucker for chicken livers as well. I appreciated that they put this on the appetizer menu and made it a fairly small (for pasta in Indy) portion.  I mean, this was a really rich dish—chicken livers alone are rich, then you add earthy mushrooms and the meaty, buttery sauce.  I really enjoyed this, and it was a nice balance with the sharp acid from the ceviche, but I was really glad we were splitting both to get such completely different flavors.  And hooray for fresh pasta.  Just looking at the menu recently though I have noticed they have added sweet and sour red onions to the dish, which makes me jealous they weren’t doing this when we had it.  I think the addition of those could take this dish to another level.

For our main dish, we split the pork schnitzel ($17).  We weren’t going to get it because we have had it a couple times before (although we have always liked it a lot) but it was a special and then the server told us there was only one order left and we needed to tell her if we wanted it. It seemed like a sign, so we went ahead and ordered it.  It was again very good, although possibly not the best one I have had at Black Market.  The pork was a little thicker, although still tender. On the night we ordered it, it was served with lemon spaetzle, which was ok (similar to when I had it the first time, not a ton of flavor), but I missed the tangy cabbage and apple slaw I have had there before.  They did serve it with an additional lemon wedge which I used and appreciated.  There were also some nice collard greens served underneath.

But man, the dessert was kick ass. Why have I not heard about this brickle thing before now (I mean, in general and at Black Market specifically)?  It is salted chocolate brickle with cream cheese ice cream and Bourbon caramel sauce ($7).  Honestly I didn’t even know what it was when I ordered it but it just didn’t seem like you could really go wrong with those ingredients.  So what is it you ask? It is actually saltine crackers that are caramelized—some also had chocolate on them.  It was amazing. I loved that the saltines made it kind of light inside of the crunchy caramel outside and the cream cheese ice cream gave it the creaminess as well as the cheesy tang. And there was some sprinkles of black salt on top. So good. This was a dessert that had me researching how to duplicate it when I got home.  It also, as I said, had me wondering why I had never had it before.
Brickle baby
I really enjoy the ambiance of Black Market. The service is smooth and professional and the food is solid.  I like that the menu changes around a lot—this is a place that stays on our list as a comforting place to get a good meal when we are without the kids.

Black Market
922 Massachusetts Avenue
Indy 46202
317/822-6757

4 comments:

  1. Thank You for sharing your experience on Black Market. I am thinking to go & pass a very joyful moment out there

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  2. Black Market is quite possibly my favorite restaurant in town. For anyone reading this who likes beer, spirits and/or mixed drinks... IMO they are also really on top of their game in that department.  Loved the review and want to figure a way to go back - and soon! I wish it wasn't about an hour (round trip) from our side of town.

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  3. Laura Angstmann FrankFebruary 8, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Did you find are recipe for the brickle?  I use this one (subbing saltines for the Matzo):

    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/04/chocolate-caramel-crackers/

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  4. Went to Black Market Friday May 17th. We don’t live in Indy so look forward to trying restaurants when we’re there. We had actually wanted to go to
    Bluebeard but it’s closed on Saturdays for lunch – hope to go next time we are
    there. It was a chilly day unfortunately but we put on our fleece jackets and sat on the patio anyway so we could have our own table instead of sitting at the communal tables inside. You can tell it would be an adorable patio on
    a nice day and the patio lights in the glass jars would be neat at night. The tree that has grown a canopy over the wood patio frame is so cool.

    We aren’t drinkers so just had cokes for our beverage. We tried the mozzarella sticks appetizer (I wanted to try the Welsh rarebit, have always wanted to try that but never have) – I believe our very nice waitress told us the mozzarella was homemade. The marinara was homemade as well, it just exploded with the taste of fresh chopped tomatoes and I could see tiny bits of chopped carrots too. It was served hot with the mozz sticks which was nice – a place we eat at where we live serves it cold which just does not work. Black Market’s mozz sticks were quite large, very creamy, very good with the homemade marinara.

    I am bad about not taking careful mental notes about what the hubby had for lunch – I just looked on-line at the menu to remind myself. He ordered the pork
    schnitzel which is something I personally would probably not choose. (We have very different tastes.) He said it was good but it was quite large. It came with purple cabbage cole slaw and mustard potato salad. The cole slaw was okay, lightly sweet, but neither of us ate more than few bites of it. I guess we just didn’t love it. He did love the potato salad – just like his Mom makes, he said.

    I hoped Black Market would have the blue gill that day which was listed on their
    on-line menu which indeed they did. My Dad used to fish for blue gill back when I was in high school / college so I hadn’t had any since then. (His version, lightly floured, S&P, and sautéed in a skillet with butter. My last meal could be that with fresh morels (prepared the same way) and I’d die a happy woman!) Black Market’s version was very good – I assume it was from a fish farm like catfish these days but I didn’t ask. It had a nice crunchy cornmeal batter which is always my favorite preparation over beer or other batters. The accompaniments were pickled beets, local dairy cottage cheese, purple cabbage cole slaw, and tomatoes (red and gold). I’ve never ever been a beet person so I tried
    one bite and pushed it aside. ; ) The cottage cheese was quite unique – it was
    almost blended compared to what you buy at a grocery store and tasted like it
    was made with cream. My husband liked it better than I did. The tomatoes tasted
    like they were grown in someone’s garden – don’t know where Black Market got
    them but sooooo good.

    I had looked forward to ordering the salted chocolate brickle for dessert. Read
    several reports on the internet about how good it was. Alas, we did not like it. The brickle is poured over saltine crackers (which again I’d read about on the internet but had never had before), it was just not our thing. Part of our personal
    problem/taste is, if you like the new craze of salt with sweet in desserts, you’d
    probably like it but we do not. In Hawaii last year we had a salted caramel tart at an upscale restaurant – loved the caramel but could have done without the salt.
    On Black Market’s dessert, they had used black salt of some kind – our favorite
    way of describing something we don’t like that we can’t quite describe / put
    our finger on is to say kind of hick-like, it had a “wang”. This salt just had a very unique “wang” to it – the after taste was almost heavily flowery / perfumey. Pretty much ruined the dessert for us. I’m not a big rhubarb person but wished we had gone with the rhubarb rice pudding w/ strawberry preserves and shortbread cookies. You win some, you lose some.

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Thanks, Erin