Black Brick – Northern Chinese in Midtown

brussel sproutsI finally made it to Black Brick, Richard Hales Northern Chinese restaurant in Midtown.  You may know Hales from Sakaya Kitchen and his adored food truck Dim Ssam a gogo.

The menu is wonderful, tantalizing and loaded with interesting dim sum, noodle and rice dishes and farm-fresh wok veggies.  And the mojitos and slightly dirty martinis were darn good.

We sat outside on an gorgeous, if not unusually quiet Saturday night for Midtown,  overlooking the green square.  The restaurant has a comfortable, casual neighborhood feel that serves like-style food.

Our waiter was pleasant yet insanely informative – reading the menu to us in its entirety, item by item, description by description.  It reminded me of a bad professor, lecturing from the text book, word for word. Snore!

He then informed us that the restaurant was in the process of changing their wine list so they had no wine.  NO WINE?  REALLY?

Well folks, it does get better.  The Xinjiang Cumin Lamb Dumplings  served in a vinegar based dipping sauce were much to our liking, as was the Chinese Mustard Green with Garlic  and Twice Cooked Brussels with Duroc Bacon. Crazy as this sounds, my favorite dish of the night was the Smacked Cucumber, Smoked Garlic, Radish and Soy.  It was cold, crisp and spicy.

The Tiger Kale Salad with Cucumber, Tomato and Hot Mustard Dressing  was disappointing.  The kale was not the softer Tuscan variety that I prefer and the salad had no discernable dressing.  I’m a salad hound and love all things raw, but this was rough rabbit food.

All of the entees were average.  The Ma Po Tofu with Chili Beef was the best of the night with silky soft tofu in a sweet savory sauce.  The Peking Duck was not crispy and everyone loves their duck crispy – right?  The Scallops were over-cooked and the Beef Chow with House-Made Wheat Noodles, although cooked perfectly with the right noodle chew, was frankly uninspiring.

The biggest problem with the dinner plates – they all tasted alike.  Every dish was prepared with the same sweet sauce as a base, everything was sticky sweet.  It was lovely on the vegetables served first, but by the time the plates and noodles came out, we were overdosed on the sauce. All six of us were unanimous on this point.  Sorry Black Brick.

Food Good
Ambiance Outdoors Mid Town Vibe
Service Good
Price Reasonable – Affordable

If you would like to read some of my other restaurant reviews, you can check them all out within my RESTAURANT category. If you have ever been to this restaurant, please share with us your own experience by leaving a comment below. I would love to know what you thought about it.

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