Restaurant Review: Black Market Bistro

I have been talking about going to this restaurant for quite a while, but we finally made it there last night! I had the dubious honor of paying for the meal since I lost (on a technicality) our NFL playoff pool. For those of you who are unfamiliar, BMB is on the bottom level of a house in a residential area of Kensington. The neighborhood itself was quite astounding and we were quite awed by the million dollar homes we passed. The restaurant has a farm house or New England-esque feel to it, but it is certainly fine dining with a casual flare. The menu is rather small, with one dish for each type of protein (chicken, beef, pork, seafood, etc), with several appetizers and Italian style pizzas also on the menu.

They had very fresh and delicious bread on the table of two varieties, one sweet with raisins and one Italian style white. We started off our meal with two appetizers: the soup of the day, which was a tomato bisque with pesto creme fraiche and pine nuts, and the Thai style Prince Edward Island mussels, mussels in lemongrass, chiles, ginger, coconut and cilantro. What a great start! The flavors of both of these dishes were so intense and delightful. The soup was very rich, creamy, and hearty and the pesto creme fraiche and the pine nuts added that little something that made it amazing. The mussels were perfectly cooked and the broth was divine. I could have happily ate that broth as a soup by itself it had so much flavor.

For our entrees we decided to go with the special, which was braised veal shank with risotto, including kale, pearl onions, and crimini mushrooms and the Pineland Farms hangar steak, a hardwood grilled all-natural hanger steak with whipped potatoes, fresh vegetable of the day, chimichurri & crispy onions.

When the veal entree was placed before me, Greg thought that they would come running back to grab it as they had seemingly forgot to place the meat on top of the risotto. Well, that was not the case. Apparently, the meat had been shredded and mixed in with the risotto and there wasn’t very much of it.  We had envisioned a veal shank on top of some creamy risotto. No. This was risotto with the little bit of meat mixed in along with what appeared to be a brown gravy and it was very salty. I have to say this was a disappointing dish. It was all one texture, one note of flavor, and just wasn’t that interesting. Did I mention it was salty? I woke up several times last night with some serious thirst! Luckily, the hangar steak was PERFECT in every way. It was grilled exactly right with a nice crust on the outside and still red and juicy on the inside. The veggie of the day was kale, my new fave, and the potatoes were melt in your mouth good. They served it with a TON of fried onion rings, which were sliced very thin, so they were crispy and a good accompaniment to the other textures. This was a great dish. We did not have any room for dessert, but I did take a peek at the menu. Nothing too exciting, except for the root beer float, which a table near us got.

Overall, we were very pleased with our experience at BMB and would definitely go back for another special occasion. The staff were all very nice too, although our waitress went MIA after our meals were served, and it wasn’t really that expensive considering the quality and the portions (although we did not have any leftovers 🙂 ). It was worth losing the playoff pool for, I will say that.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but this place was fancy!

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