I'm just back from a very disapointing lunch at Blackbird. I ordered the Whitefish Sandwich, which in the past has been a delightful play of contrasting tastes and textures. It came on bread so burnt that I immediately sent it back. When it came back, the bread looked better, but I noticed that the gaufrette potato chips were a deep russet color. I tried one, and it tasted quite unpleasant,so I called the waiter again, and he said they were all like that, so he was going to make new ones for me, and since that would take 2 or 3 minutes, he would replace the whole sandwich. He then brought the sandwich on its own plate, and followed up in a few minutes with a mound of somewhat greasy french fries (not the crispy gaufrettes) on another plate. Meanwhile, I had begun eating the sandwich, and was dismayed to find that it tasted nothing like I remembered it. I couldn't taste the fish, and the whole thing was slathered with mayo (the menu says it comes with a gribiche (sp?), but I didn't see any).
Finally, I was given some bread and butter (not that I needed it, but it shows how "off" the service was).
My waiter was kind throughout, and concerned that I enjoy the meal, but I noticed he didn't ask me how everything turned out - if he had, I would have told him that, regretably, the sandwich was not what it used to be.
Has Blackbird changed hands? Isn't chef Paul Kahan the owner? Does he not come in at lunchtime?