If you want to believe that a forkful of parsnip purée can render one senseless, then you’re in for a treat at Blackfish, Chip Roman’s (Vetri, Le Bec Fin) intimate BYO housed in the Fayette Street location formerly occupied by Maya Bella in Conshohocken. From the duck liver mousse amuse bouché to the frothy Sabayon dessert sauce, Roman’s classically constructed dishes artfully balance the familiar with the exotic.
The Hudson Valley foie gras enticed with an exterior reminiscent of crème brulée and a warm, pudding-like center. Tiny cubes of soft, Japanese eggplant tossed with cinnamon oil added a sweet-and-sour note that complemented the foie gras’ buttery flavor. A petite dish of salt-roasted ruby beets, goat cheese and micro-greens paired well with the applewood-smoked salmon appetizer, the fish’s supple flesh contrasting deliciously with the crisp, shoestring fried potatoes and panko-crusted fried whole egg.
The red snapper special, grilled in an aromatic star anise broth, stood out over the bouillabaisse—an assortment of the day’s catch in a mild saffron and anise sauce. The star of the meal was the “surf and turf”—succulent day-boat scallops and short ribs glazed in red wine veal stock, all nestled against a pillow of sweet, nutty puréed parsnips.
And for dessert: fresh fruit swathed in Marsala-infused Sabayon (ladled tableside), molten bittersweet chocolate cake and a tangy lemon tart nestled in a buttery-crunchy-chewy shell.
And Blackfish’s clean, modern look makes a statement without overshadowing the restaurant’s raison d’être. 119 Fayette St., Conshohocken, (610) 397-0888.