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Restaurants & Bars 1

Dinner at Blackbird & Henry

Mike C. Miller | Feb 16, 201507:41 PM

I was recently in town for business and to visit my daughter. We ended up at Blackbird & Henry based on a recommendation of a friend of hers and general reviews. I was very pleased with the meal. A very good experience.

Blackbird & Henry is in a newish building at the corner of 30th and Guadelupe. There is a parking garage behind the building with plenty of parking. The interior is neither too stylish nor too casual. It seems to strike a nice balance between extremes. The restaurant was reasonably quiet, without being tombline, too.

On to the food, where the news is almost universally good. First courses were seasonal oysters for me, a market fish civiche for my girlfriend, and a beet tartine for my daughter. Bot raw bar courses were impeccably fresh. The oysters were excellent, but the civiche was sublime. Just the right touch of acidity and spice, but not so much as to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the rosy colored fish. The beet tartine was quite good, although not of us much cared for the figs that came with it. C'est la vie.

Mains were rotisserie leg of lamb for me, rotisserie chicken for my girlfriend, and vegetarian gnocchi with smoked mushrooms for my daughter. Both rotisserie dishes were very good, with the lamb getting the nod over the chicken, in my mind. The gnocchi were good, but the mushrooms were very smoky and the consensus was that the dish might have been better had the mushrooms just been sauteed. Still quite tasty, and very much a question of taste.

My daughter and I are pretty serious winos. The wine list is short. No way around that. That being said, it is very well chosen and it seems to be designed to keep all bottle prices well south of $100. And the markups are very, very reasonable. In fact, looking at the price of some bottles, I'm not sure that there is much of a mark up. We had a decent Sancerre and a Lucien Muzard 2011 Maladiere" 1er Cru Santenay. You're not going to find a life changing bottle of wine on the list, but you can drink an acceptable one for $25 and find an interesting one for not much more.

It's not the best restaurant in town, but it's a lovely neighborhood place, with food that is very good to excellent. It's reasonably priced. The wine list is embarrassingly inexpensive. And the service is very welcoming and quite competent. If I living in Austin, I'd eat there twice a week. And you can actually afford to eat there twice a week!! I only have good things to say and have no real complaint of any note.

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