Milwaukee: Black Sheep

The Black Sheep of the Milwaukee restaurant scene – and I mean that in a good way! You’re in for a treat if you have an adventurous palate and an appreciation for eclectic scenery! Picky eaters beware, when I say adventurous palate, I mean it! Luckily, I’m willing to try just about anything, and I usually like it. At Black Sheep, I LOVED it. Here, you can taste a menu of intriguing creations made from array of interesting proteins, rich cheeses, and other top-of-the-line ingredients. Choose a dish to share, a board to try, or an entree to feast upon. I dare you to step out of your comfort zone and try something that you’ve never heard of!

I’ll start with what was probably the tamest option that we ordered to share. Still, I have never had a poutine dish like this! This dish started with a heap full of fries that were then covered with flavorful pork belly, caramelized onions, Clock Shadow Creamery cheese curds, and hickory veloute (the sauce).  The caramelized onions were sweet and buttery on top of perfectly crisped and salted fries. I’ve heard cheese curds are just a Wisconsin thing, but if you haven’t had Clock Shadow’s you are missing out!

Now for the craziest dish I tried – the gnudi! Pecorino romano, morel mushrooms, asparagus, everlasting pea, and cream poached garlic puree. Still don’t understand? Neither did we. Luckily, our very knowledgeable server described it for us!

The gnudi are little pillowy dumplings similar gnocchi. That weirdly textured mushroom you see are morels. I’ve heard a lot about them, but this was my first actual encounter! They had an intense, nutty flavor, and were totally different than any mushrooms I’ve tried in the past. But seriously delicious if you can get past the honeycombish texture. The edible flowers you see are the everlasting pea! They add beautiful color to the dish. Throw it all together with some asparagus and a delicious and robustly flavored sauce that tasted more complex with every bite.

Did I say the gnudi was the craziest dish?

I think I meant it was the matcha mousse cake. A black sesame cake, matcha mousse, white sesame mousse, blackberry/black garlic sauce, and lemon cardamom ice cream (Purple Door, of course.) A mix of sweet, savory, and peppery flavors created one remarkable slice of cake. I personally do not have a huge sweet tooth, so I can appreciate the uniqueness/subtle sweetness that comes with the flavors added to this dessert! I cannot say that I’ve ever had black cake before, but the black sesame was especially noteworthy. Add a dollop of lemon cardamom ice cream to your forkful and you know you won’t regret it!

So like I said, if you enjoy taking a walk on the wild side of a menu like I do, this is your type of place! In fact, I plan to make it back to try every single thing on their distinctly unique menu. But don’t fear, if you’re a little more reserved with your choice of meals, there is certainly a Black Sheep burger for you.  There’s something for everyone, but the options are endless for those who are willing to try anything and everything!

Black Sheep (216 S 2nd Street, Milwaukee, WI // 414.223.0903)

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