Blackbird Public House – A Donnelly Group public house, though this one feels higher class than the usual Donnelly bar that comes to mind. Set in the heart of the financial district, this public house offers a two-level experience; the ground level features an oyster bar and restaurant, whereas the top embodies more of an upscale British pub atmosphere. Upstairs features a pool table and shuffleboard, along with an additional satellite scotch bar – with over 70 labels. The Blackbird Barbers is connected to the ground level, adding to the overall trendy vibe.
The decor is the most intriguing aspect of Blackbird. Okay, aside from the $3 wine and $1.50 oyster happy hour specials, it’s the most intriguing part of Blackbird. With tan pin cushion leather couches, vintage 1900’s lighting, and muted charcoal walls, with brass accents throughout. It brings to mind an Oxfordian library, which basically makes you feel like a classy badass while you nibble and drink.
The run down
After work on a Friday, with coworkers, the first thing I needed a cocktail. Though the $3 happy hour wine was tempting, I needed something to match the way I felt (see above: badass) so I opted for The Four Horsemen ($14). Though it was apparently all alcohol, it was delicious! Created by Jay Jones, in 2012, it featured Maker’s 46 bourbon, taverna amaro, gaffed abricot de roussillon liqueur, and Angostura bitters. Don’t try to say the ingredients five times fast after a few of them though.
Now with oysters for $1.50 on happy hour, there’s no way we could pass on those. We had a mixed bag of Joyce Point, Beach Angels, and Kwak̓wala oysters. They came with 3 sauces; spicy cocktail sauce, a bacon sherry sauce, and a cucumber kombu sauce. The bacon sherry was the table’s favourite, and I have to say pairing bacon with oysters was surprisingly delicious.
I needed another cocktail after the lovely oysters (it seems I always need another cocktail doesn’t it?), so I opted for for Pigalle ($10). Unfortunately, our server let us know that they were transitioning their cocktail menu, and the bartender didn’t have all the ingredients for it – but he made me a Pigalle-inspired drank instead. The original, another Jay Jones original from 2013, had Martin Miller’s gin, raspberry vinegar, passion fruit syrup, and fresh lime.
My coworker suggested salt + pepper free-range-wings ($12) and we added on the gorgonzola & honey dip. Which, was pretty good, though would have been better if we had gotten the hot wings to dip in the creamy sauce.
To Try Next Time:
Cured meats ($15) – local & international selection, fig compote, green apple, hazelnuts
Chicken liver mousse ($10) – port jelly, onion gastrique, black pepper, toast
905 Dunsmuir Street