Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Black Sheep - Good and Plenty

Friday night we left home early in search of The Black Sheep. We had heard some rave reviews and wanted to try it ourselves. I applaud any restaurant willing to go through the rigors and nuttiness of opening an establishment in the city of Richmond and locating on what is still considered off the beaten path for most. Thus, word of mouth will be extremely crucial for this kitchy little converted storefront. As we stepped into the open space I immediately noticed the little ceramic salt and pepper shakers gracing the booths and tables. We arrived early and snagged a booth looking out of the huge picture window. Two white puppies held our salt and pepper. And an enormous ceramic frog served as the base for our table lamp. The glass floral vases filled with dirt and planted with herbs added a nice touch as well. Our waitress bedecked with various piercings greeted us warmly and enthusiatically. She was attentive throughout the evening without being overbearing.

The Black Sheep's wine list is tiny, but holds inexpesive, drinkable options. We ordered the Big Tattoo Red from Chile for $16.

For dinner, lunch and dinner offerings can be ordered. "The War of Northern Ingestion" both intrigued and amused. The side note indicated "They aren't subs, they're battleships." We espied the CSS Virginia (fried chicken livers with shredded green cabbage onion, apple, and remoulade sauce for $7) sailing forth to another table. The plate sported a two-foot long French baguette. The Black Sheep serves these behemoths "with a knife for doing battle and a napkin to signify your surrender." We were not in a war-like mood and sallied on over to the dinner options. I just had to try the Chicken and Dumplings ($10) - white pan roasted chicken with homemade herb dumplings (very biscuit-like) in a light cream sauce with minced carrots and celery. Nothing splashy, just basic comfort food and plenty of it. My dish came with my choice of sides. This was definitely an issue. I did not need anything. Our waitress intuited my dilemma and suggested the Orzo Salad - orzo, fresh veggies, herbs, and sunflower seeds tossed in a light citrus vinaigrette. I took her advice, but boxed it up to go and will be having it as part of my dinner this evening.

My hubby decided to try one of the specials for the evening - Penne Pasta ($9) tossed with summer veggies (squash, tomatoes, green beans). He added grilled Mahi Mahi for an extra $5. He enjoyed the pasta, but was thrilled by the fish. Once again, the plate was graced by a large portion that was meaty, yet moist.

We were very pleased. For this Friday evening, business slowed to a trickle around 7 PM and then picked back up nearer to 8 PM. Once word gets out about the great food and the great prices, lines should start forming.

Some of the other menu items we look forward to trying include:

Breakfast (served until 2 PM) - Black Sheep French Toast (with nutella - drool, drool, drool) and Beret Frittata (goat cheese, broccoli, herbs, and onion). And don't forget a cup of Community Coffee

Lunch (served from 11 AM until closing) - Spice Trade Salad (frisee with Asian pear and avocado with a creamy Garam Masala yogurt dressing) and USS Monitor (Swedish meatballs topped with Farmer's cheese and green onions)

Dinner (served from 5 PM until closing) - Blue Ribbon Pork (pork cutlet with VA ham and Swiss cheese served with buttered noodles)

Other Sides - Broccoli Salad and Dirty Rice

And don't forget Something Sweet - White Russian Brownie and Profiterole (topped with almonds and honey and filled with cardamon rosewater ice cream)

The Black Sheep is located at 901 W. Marshall St. They are open Tuesday - Sunday and are non-smoking (yeah!).

Black Sheep on Urbanspoon


RVA Foodie said...

Well, I don't know what the boat names are all about, but "great food at great prices" is right up my alley. A white russian brownie sounds great.

Chloe said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! I'm so happy to see people talking about this place. It's quickly becoming a favorite of mine. The brunch is highly recommended as is that White Russian brownie.

Lauren said...

Thanks for giving pictures and more information on this place. I may have to make it a dinner destination soon.

Brie said...

I loved this place also! :) The coffee is great, the food is delicious and filling. :)

tbsamsel said...

My son took me there for Father's Day. I thought that the "served with buttered toast" notification was on the twee side. As if one were to be tucked into bed by Mrs. Tiggywinkle.

Not bad food, though. I had the pulled turkey with the dirty rice. They were a bit light on seasoning the dirty rice IMNSHO.

MMH said...

My sister has tried both the French toast and the Beret frittata and loved both of them! I will say that the French toast is more of a dessert than a breakfast item. I love the sausage gravy biscuits. I was there two nights ago and tried the deviled eggs. I think the reason I love the place so much is that it reminds me of my childhood favorite foods. My Mom made the chicken and dumplings in a very similar manner as well.

Anonymous said...

This place rocks! We were on our way (from Colorado) through town for a wedding, and stopped in. The chicken liver sandwich should be the signature dish. The pork and cheese grits were delicious. Everyone should try this place. We would be regulars if we were in the neighborhood....or state.