“Seasonal, Fresh, Innovative” — that’s the mantra behind Black Tree in the Lower East Side.
Black Tree uses local produce to innovative, seasonal, farm-to-table recipes, but the way I described it to my friend who went with me was that it was a “cool, trendy sandwich place.” Don’t get me wrong though…they don’t just have sandwiches! They have appetizers like Squash Soup with pumpkin, apple, onion, sour cream, chive, and ciabatta; other entrees like Steak & Eggs with pan-seared petite filet medallions, fried egg, and chimichurri; and desserts like a Chocolate Chip Maple Bacon Skillet Cookie. They’re also known for their craft cocktails like the Fig, which is fig infused vodka, heirloom apples, cider, sparkling wine, and fall spices. See what I was trying to get at with “cool” and “trendy”?
Of course, I still had to get a sandwich since that’s what put the restaurant on my radar in the first place, so I went with the popular Winter Pig which is made with Peekskill Brewery Lemon Pale Ale braised pork belly, brown butter apple preserves, pickled apples, cheddar, mint, and apple blossoms. Yeah, I’m a sucker for pork belly. Yeah, I’m a sucker for things that have tons of creative ingredients. That’s a power sandwich if there ever was one. My friend and I also decided to split an appetizer so we got the Dipalo Burrata which came with toasted ciabatta, olive oil, and sea salt.
Let me just go off on a mini-tangent right now about burrata. If you’ve never had it before then you’re missing out (and also you’re just like me before I came to Black Tree…). Burrata is basically mozzarella + cream, and I actually just learned that “burrata” means “buttered” in Italian. So yeah…rich. Even though I had never had it, I constantly heard about…as an expensive cheese that was still so worth it…as a substitute to make a mozzarella dish REALLY luxurious. At Black Tree, I decided it was finally time to try it. And now, thanks a lot because I dream of it. Sooooo creamy. Sooooo good. Especially they way they serve it coated in olive oil and sea salt. Plus, the ciabatta was warm and soft and another thing worth raving about all on its own. Seriously. Get this. Then the sandwich! I had never had mint with pork belly, and I loved the sweetness the preserves added. And again, awesome, awesome bread. Wherever they get their bread from is absolutely amazing.
Fair warning, the restaurant itself is narrow and a tight squeeze, so basically, don’t come here with a large group. It is great though for a fun little intimate meal. Speaking of fun…how fun is it that they serve their food on these wood planks?
If all of this wasn’t enough to convince you to come check out the place, maybe you’ll be swayed by the fact that Food Network’s Diner, Drive-Ins, and Dives stopped by here. The restaurant’s Winter Pig recipe is even on Food Network’s website here. Convinced yet?
Dipalo Burrata, Winter Pig
131 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002