We are spoiled. Above and beyond and even a little bit more than that. If you’ve perused our DMV food pages, you know we get around and make a healthy habit of indulging in the area’s food scene. One of the hardest parts of our transition north was saying goodbye to an excellence that we feel embodies DC food and drink. So when we decided where we would enjoy our first dinner date in WNY, it was with a great deal of energy and deliberation that we finally selected The Black Sheep in Buffalo.
We believe vehemently in classic, traditional cuisine – but we have an affinity for when those classics are reinvented, and even more-so, when fresh ingredients are center stage. All of these things are combined at The Black Sheep, and we walked away feeling like we could definitely be spoiled in Buffalo, too.
Executive Chef Steve Gedra and Manager/Pastry Chef Ellen Gedra have combined forces to create a menu where everything entices; we perused the selection and had a hard time finding a dish we wouldn’t love to try. That’s the thing about Black Sheep – for a small menu, it’s impossible to narrow down even the limited selection. We ultimately settled on 4 small plates, some more interesting than others, and 1 large plate before diving into Ellen’s dessert.
BBQ Pork Nuggets, an item from the list of specials that evening, was one of the standouts of the meal. These little guys were loaded with flavor, and our only complaint was that the plate didn’t contain more.
I love artichoke, so when I spotted Fried Artichoke on the specials as well it was a no-brainer. Though pleasing to the eye, it was more subtle in flavor and could have benefited from a stronger profile in the sauce or in the breading. But I loved the spin on a controversial vegetable (Scott is still warming to them…) and sadly you usually can get me to try anything fried.
My Polish roots demanded that I try the Peirogi, which was definitely a solid plate. Not much deviation from the classic I had growing up, and I suppose in the future I’d love to see this plate get modified to include something unique. Maybe in the fall, sweet potato?
The Roasted Local Beets with Whipped Feta was our favorite from the small plate selection (and fortunately, listed on the main menu so it’s sure to be there when you visit…) and it is shocking because Scott also is wary of beets. It’s no surprise, as some can be utterly bitter. But that night it was as sweet as could be, and the savory rich feta helped balance out the dish, and we found ourselves scraping the plate with our leftover bread basket. That good. Is it possible to add whipped feta to every meal?
Chicken, for such a common plate, can be difficult to execute. I often judge a restaurant by their ability to finesse simplicity, rather than astound with complexity. Though we were satiated after our small plates, Scott and I chose The Local Chicken Breast and were impressed. Not only was the chicken cooked to perfection, but all the flavors and array of fresh vegetables served as an excellent backdrop to the main event.
Though it was dark by the time we ordered dessert, we were able to manipulate the candle on our table to cast a light on the Chocolate Fruit Cup (chocolate tart, seasonal berries), which was the epitome of sinfully sweet – in the best sense. We are eager to try the Sticky Toffee Pudding on our next visit, as the warm evening called for something slightly cooler on the palette.
We left having shared 4 small plates, a large plate, 2 cocktails, and a dessert – we spent UNDER $100, which was shocking for the quality of the meal, and unheard of in our former territory.
Because The Black Sheep has been written about as one of Buffalo’s best restaurants, we clearly had high expectations. Though we will wait to reserve final judgement until we experience more of the menu as well as other restaurants in town, we can say without reservation that this was a fabulous first date and a delicious first bite in our new home.
The Black Sheep || 367 Connecticut Street || Buffalo, NY 14213