If Part 1 was a tale of woe and eventual closures, and Part 2 was a turning point in a year that’d started off rough, then Part 3 is a redemption story. The summer of 2016 was one of the best times to be an eater in Philadelphia in recent memory, and it all started with the best new restaurant opening of the year thus far: Michael Schulson’s Double Knot.
The dining room at Blackfish in Conshohocken is white, but not cold. Not icy, the way some white, restaurant-shaped boxes can be. The dark wood floors help. The matching chairs. The colorful spines of cookbooks stacked on a shelf, making the place look like it’s been styled for an Architectural Digest photo shoot, or maybe something from a summer issue of Martha Stewart Living. Not lively, exactly, but alive.
The white ceilings and white tablecloths and white plates make every color pop. The sharp red of garden tomatoes in a summer salad, the green tangles of seaweed on which sit the stony shells of oysters, the rich, textured yellow-brown of a curry sauce puddling around a fist-sized cut of tilefish perfectly golden from the pan: In this sterility of white-on-white, the plates being put out by Chip Roman’s chef de cuisine, Yianni Arhontoulis, and his crew go off like fireworks. The entire restaurant becomes a blank space, and all you can see are the blooms and sparks in front of you. Everything else fades into the background.
Well, there’s at least one that we know of. And we have the menu.
Blackfish in Conshohocken is hosting a four-course menu on Tuesday, April 28. The restaurant will be fittingly featuring the eponymous blackfish on the menu.
No, blackfish isn’t the killer whale, so don’t get all worked up about that documentary. But rather the tautog, a species of fish found along the eastern seaboard from Nova Scotia to South Carolina.
The menu is $49 per person and you can call and make reservations at 610-397-0888.
Blackfish’s Downton Abbey themed dinner is back on Sunday, March 8th. Inspired by the popular British TV show, chef and owner Chip Roman and his team are creating a meal fit for the Crawleys.
Mrs. Patmore’s Roman’s menu include:
- Smoked Salmon Rillettes with stone ground mustard, crostini
- Royal Miyagi Oysters with champagne vinegar mignonette
- Mrs. Patmore’s London Particular with petite pois, smoked ham hock, yorkshire pudding
- Escargot A La Mrs. Hughes with fermented garlic, parsley, oyster mushroom, grilled bread
- Downton Estates Wild Boar with stewed barley, madeira, green peppercorn
- English Eccles Cake with black currant, sweetened yogurt
In years past, there always seemed to be a few suburban spots we could depend on to crack our list of the best restaurants in Philly—places that were worth the drive and the time it took to step outside the echo chamber of Philly’s urban restaurant scene.
This year, though, was tougher. We lost a couple places that were always solid, saw some brave, pioneering chefs looking outside the more traditional restaurant neighborhoods, and decided that while not really strong enough yet to deserve a full list of its own, the suburban scene was sufficiently interesting to stand slightly apart from the main catalog of the 50 Best Restaurants.
Australian black truffles.
Need we say more?
Tuesday, August 26th, Blackfish invites you to their Australian Black Truffle Dinner. The tasting menu is comprised of four dishes featuring the prized ingredient. Guests will start with duck and truffle rillettes, followed by truffle dumpling, albacore and truffle ballontine and finish with beef and truffle parfait.
The dinner, curated by chef and owner Chip Roman with the help of chef de cuisine, Yianni Arhontoulis is $65 per person.
The search term Downton Abbey regularly brings Googlers to Foobooz. It’s all because of a Downton Abbey dinner party that chef/owner Chip Roman threw last February at Blackfish in Conshohocken. On Sunday nights the traffic to the page skyrockets, often pushing the story back into the Most Popular Foobooz stories box. It even tricked our Social Media team, which posted the Downton Abbey dinner post this past Monday as if it were new. People immediately started calling Blackfish looking to book their table.
There was enough of a groundswell that Roman has decided to bring back the event. On Monday, February 24th. The dinner will be similar to last year and the price will be $100 per head.
To reserve your table, call Blackfish promptly at 610-397-0888.
Are you just a huge fan of the movie A Christmas Story? On Christmas Eve, Chip Roman’s Blackfish is hosting a dinner inspired by the classic holiday movie. All the dishes served from “Flick’s Frozen Tongue” (corned veal tongue) to “Don’t Forget Your Ovaltine” (Ovaltine mousse) are clearly inspired by the movie. The dinner is $55 per person and hopefully the Bumpus hounds don’t get to the turkey before you do.
Back in the day Conshohocken’s Blackfish offered lunch with a much-praised burger. Beginning tomorrow lunch returns to Chip Roman’s BYOB. And yes, there’s a burger on the menu. In fact there are two of them. Other highlights include French onion soup, chicken pot pie, roasted skate and four salads.
Lunch is offered Tuesday through Friday.