Food Porn: Black Rock Kitchen and Bar

source: http://www.blackrockkitchen.com

It’s been said on The Buffalo News and Buffalo Spree already, but Amherst Street is really turning into a go-to Foodie spot. Joe (from Gino and Joe’s) opened up a NY Pizza place in a vacant Mighty Taco, Artisan Kitchen and Bath have built a gorgeous showroom which hosts Buffalo’s own version of Iron Chef several times a year and Delish is currently building a coffee lover’s heaven.  If you are thinking about where to go out to eat or drink, Amherst Street is starting to make a case against Hertel, Elmwood and Allen.  Adding to the mix on Amherst St. is now Black Rock Kitchen and Bar, serving up a gastropub-like menu with a large beer selection.  The owners aren’t new to the Buffalo restaurant scene, they also own and operate Allen Street Hardware which is also known for their casual/upscale menu and great beer selection.  In fact the design inside both are very similar, a long bar lines the wall at Black Rock and the lighting is quite dim (which ended up causing serious problems for our picture taking).

Quick Info:

We decided to take a risk and visit the new and already popular restaurant on a Friday night, luckily we didn’t have to wait too long.  The dining room and bar are all together in one large studio-like room and when we walked in I was nervous, people were hovering around the bar and it seemed like it might be a long time before we got a table.  The hostess let us know the wait was only 30 minutes and after grabbing a drink at the bar, it seemed like we were seated in no time.

Their beer selection is very impressive but most of your choices will be in bottle form (of which they have over 40).  They also have about 6-7 beers on draft.  Alli has been experimenting with hard ciders lately and was excited to try Magners and I ordered one of my go to’s, Flying Bison’s Rusty Chain (their Spaten Oktoberfest tap wasn’t working).

I had looked over their menu beforehand and was really contemplating ordering the bone marrow appetizer, it’s something I’ve been dying to try but I ultimately decided to wait for another visit.  Instead I ordered the Potato and Sweet Pepper Fritata with Queso Fresco ($7) and Alli ordered their Caramelized Onion Soup ($6).  Unfortunately, our pictures look horrible, you can see the blurry snapshots in the gallery below.  The lighting in this place was definitely not optimal for picture taking and the flash was really distracting to people around us, so we didn’t opt for re-takes.  That said, the food was very good.

If you are an onion fan you will love their take on French Onion Soup, with a large piece of bread topped with melted cheese in the middle of the bowl, these onions were caramelized to the point of tasting like a sweet wine.  They also provide you with two more slices of garlic bread on the side, which was great for dipping.  The fritata could have very well been a full entree itself and the Queso Fresco had a fresh clean bite that worked great with the eggs, peppers and potatoes.  It’s something I could eat for breakfast after a long night out drinking, but maybe not the best “appetizer” as it really filled me up.

For our entrees, I ordered the Duck Confit BLT ($14) while Alli ordered the Lump Crab & Cucumber Salad over Butter Lettuce and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing ($12) after a suggestion from our waitress.  The BLT was good but incredibly messy to eat.  They definitely didn’t skimp on the bacon, with large strips that were sticking out of the edges of the sandwich.  The duck gave the sandwich this strong rich and decadent taste and was fatty (in a good way) but was just slightly dry.  However, a liberal use of mayo helped counter the salty bacon and duck.  The hand cut fries that come along with the order were a nice dark russert potato and were actually quite fantastic.

The amount of lump crab meat (the real stuff) on Alli’s salad was impressive.  She actually finished the lettuce portion of the salad before she went through all of the crab meat.  The flavor of the crab wasn’t that strong and was slightly covered-up with the flavor from the ranch dressing.  This could be easily bypassed by asking for your dressing on the side.  If you are looking for a lighter entree, this might be a good call.

We were quite pleased with our meal at Black Rock Kitchen and Bar, I’m not sure exactly why I didn’t have high hopes before our visit but I walked away wanting to go back.  Their menu is intimidating, you’ll find everything from Bone Marrow, Tuna Tartar, Octopus, Enchiladas and even a Po Boy.  But unlike a restaurant like Tantalus that throws you over 12 pages of menu options, Black Rock’s menu seems like a “greatest hits” of various cuisines.  I can’t speak for the other dishes but I’m interested in going back to try more.

Photo Gallery:


Black Rock Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

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