Dining

Sweet Smarts

Patrick Fahy's fine finishes at Blackbird

Editor's note: As of July 2011, Patrick Fahy is no longer with Blackbird. He is currently the pastry chef of The Sofitel Hotel and its Café des Architectes. 

When Patrick Fahy debuted his fall menu--his first as Blackbird's new pastry chef--with an homage to last-of-the-season sweet corn, we knew he was on the track to pastry innovation.

Chef Mike Sheerin's savory dishes are rife with technical twists, textural surprises and sweet-savory interplay; Fahy, a French Laundry alum, has certainly proven he can keep pace.

Currently, Klug Farms' rhubarb stars in a take on baba au rhum (pictured; $10), with shards of adzuki-bean-studded cake soaked in rhubarb consommé and elderflower liqueur. Dehydrated rhubarb slices, rhubarb jam, adzuki purée and a purple Forbidden Rice sorbet decorate the plate.

A Criollo chocolate dessert ($12) appeals to the culinary intellect; it's based on ingredients that grow together in Venezuela. But when broken open, the chocolate balls spill forth Tonka bean ice cream onto piles of chocolaty roasted barley "soil," resulting in flavors and textures reminiscent of a pitch-perfect brownie sundae.

As citrus season closes, strawberries will take center stage--but Fahy plans to play with green berries before their flesh ripens and turns red. He's infusing green Michigan strawberries with simple syrup and Champagne vinegar to create a sweet-tart flavor similar to that of the ripe fruit. As for their plate mates, he's thinking goat cheese, borage and sorrel. And we're thinking it sounds like one of the season's cleverest new desserts.

Blackbird, 619 W. Randolph St.; 312-715-0708 or blackbirdrestaurant.com

Blackbird 619 W. Randolph St Chicago IL 60661 (312) 715-0708

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