Former Café 909 chef Mark Schmidt's latest project Blackbird and Henry will open their doors to the public this evening. The "neighborhood tavern" just north of the University of Texas campus will start initially with dinner service from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. only, but will expand with lunch and brunch in the spring.
The initial menu is both upscale and succinct: there are five raw bar offerings including oysters and ceviche, a half-dozen gastropub-looking starters like curried prawns and cockle and black pudding risotto, and nine mains mostly priced from $20-30. Aside from a dandelion salad with duck egg, the main courses are decidedly meaty, with options like slow roasted porchetta, preserved duck leg, griddled Texas flounder with country ham, and a cast-iron Texas redfish with oysters.
Blackbird and Henry's beverage program was curated by sommelier Shelly Schmidt, and currently offerers 50 wines, 20 of which are available by the glass priced from $8-13. Bottle prices range from $20-90, with around half of the selections at $40 and under. There are also a half-dozen cocktails, including plays on classics like the Pimm's Cup ("The Perfect Cuppa", $10) and the ubiquitous margarita ("Calcutta Rita", $9). See below for the full menu and wine list.
· All Blackbird and Henry Coverage [EATX]