Black Barn is a bit of a youngster in the New York culinary scene, having only been open for a few months, but their brunch service is already a well-oiled machine, touting attentive service, fantastic food, and a vibe many restaurant spaces lack…
The décor and atmosphere of the restaurant is true to its name. Their signature decoration staple of choice seems to be distressed wood, which can be found in the form of rafters below their very tall ceilings and as the flooring. Black Barn is incredibly hip and trendy without trying very hard.
Another plus to eating brunch at Black Barn is the live music. When I went, there was a trio of musicians playing old favorites. The group was so talented they were much more than background noise – most patrons were heavily engaged in and enamored with their performance and skill.
To start my meal I ordered a Blood Orange Mimosa. You are also free to order mimosas with regular orange juice or grapefruit juice. Even though I didn’t feel like branching out cocktail-wise on this particular morning, it is important to note that Black Barn has a fairly extensive brunch cocktail menu.
As an appetizer round of sorts, I ordered the Carrots Escabeche and the Chicharrones, Spinach, Apple & Frisee salad. Both of these dishes were fantastic. The carrots, accompanied by red quinoa, coriander and burrata, were so deeply flavorful. The nuttiness of the quinoa paired perfectly with the carrots. The burrata was an incredible gesture of creaminess. This dish was executed perfectly and well-rounded in flavor. The Chicharrones salad, dressed with apple cider vinaigrette, featured some very meaty and satisfying pork bits. These chicharrones were not your normal pork rind product. Instead, they seemed to just be thick, meaty portions of pork belly that had been fried for some crunch.
For the main course, I ordered the Merguez Sausage with Chickpea Cakes, the Farmer’s Omelet, and the BBQ Glazed Bacon Steak. After taking my first nibbles of all of these dishes, being surrounded by beautiful music, and feeling some slight initial effects from my blood orange mimosa, I realized I was in bliss. The Farmer’s Omelet was chock full of sausage, potatoes, and onion, but still exhibited a light and fluffy quality that is always desired in an omelet.
The Merguez Sausage and Chickpea Cakes were out of this world. The sausage, which I’m fairly certain was made or prepared in-house, had a perfect spice blend for Merguez. However, the real star of this dish was the chickpea cakes. These little cakes were extremely fluffy and could put any normal, glutinous pancakes to shame. The fluffiness could be attributed to the chickpea flour used in the batter. It is impressive to know a restaurant is not afraid to use experimental flours to please the ever-growing gluten free population.
The BBQ glazed bacon steak was also a highlight of the meal and it was obvious this cut came straight from the butcher. While the bacon steak had a length similar to a piece of bacon, it was about 20x the thickness, making this a meaty, salty, chewy, and even smoky accompaniment to the meal.
Lastly, I ordered the Warm Chocolate Brownies for dessert. These little rectangles of goodness were garnished by a broiled banana slice, and then topped with creamy chocolate syrup that is poured tableside. I have a rule when it comes to dessert – if there’s something gluten-free that I can eat, I get it – and this was no exception. The dessert was fantastic, and I was very grateful for the pastry chef who was willing to shell out the extra bucks for the chestnut flour required to execute this dish.
Black Barn’s brunch is truly a vacation for the senses. The food will satisfy your taste buds, the music will take your mind on a journey, and the trendy yet subtle décor will have you feeling that extra boost everyone deserves to experience on a weekend morning.