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.
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.
922 Massachusetts Avenue