Just 3 short years ago Black Sheep opened to rave reviews. Since then it has become a huge crowd favorite in the Riverside neighborhood. At the time Black Sheep opened it pushed the envelope for upscale southern food in our city. 3 years and quite a few new southern restaurants later Black Sheep still holds its own. When the folks at Fresh From Florida asked us to head out to Black Sheep and share some info with our readers a bit about the Fresh From Florida items on their menu we didn’t hesitate to say yes. Who doesn’t love beautifully prepared Southern cuisine in a laid back setting?
We kicked off our meal with the Fresh From Florida Cape Canaveral red shrimp ceviche ($12)- charred shishito peppers, watermelon, lime, mezcal. These fresh shrimp were beautiful. The ceviche was refreshing and we loved the inclusion of watermelon. More often than not ceviche tends to be one tone with citrus or sour flavors overpowering the other flavors involved. Citrus came through strongest in this appetizer, but you definitely didn’t miss the hint of sweet and the texture change that watermelon added to the experience.
Black Sheep – Crispy Duck Confit
Next we dug into some mussels made with Intuition Jon Boat ($11) served with baguette from Community Loaves, one of our favorite local bakers. The mussels were very enjoyable. We’d definitely order them again.
The first entree we tried was the Crispy Duck Confit ($24)- anson mills oat risotto, Swiss chard, shiitake mushroom, muscadine grape gel. This dish was beautifully executed with the outside of the duck perfectly crispy. The duck confit was nice and tender with the familiar saltiness you expect in each bite of this dish.
The last dish we dug into was the Fresh From Florida Black Hog Farm Chicken ($23)- creamed mushrooms and pole beans, Brenton’s ham chip, biscuit dumplings. This is easily one of the best chicken dish we’ve tried in Jax. Every bite was full of flavor. The chicken was perfectly cooked. The creamed mushrooms and sauce were rich and delicious in a way that really brought the dish together. The biscuit dumplings though were the star of the show. They looked like slightly firmer than usual rectangular dumplings and that’s what I expected them to taste like. In reality they embodied the best aspect of a biscuit and a dumpling. Could you cross two more beautiful things? This was an impressive dish. If you’ve never tried it and you love chicken and dumplings this should be the dish you order on your next visit to Black Sheep.
Black Sheep – Black Hog Farm Chicken
Black Sheep does an incredible job of offering a menu that’s hyper-local with virtually everything on the menu being Fresh From Florida
through local farms and purveyors or from South Georgia farms and purveyors. In each Southern dish on the menu, classic regional fare and culinary artistry come together to create something that takes the guest on a gastronomic journey. Next time you’re headed through Riverside do yourself a favor and stop in to Black Sheep for something Fresh From Florida and delicious.
Check out Fresh From Florida on Facebook and Twitter to see all the amazing dishes you can create with items grown right here in our state.