Columbus Dispatch| Black Creek Bistro: Savory flavors change with the seasons

(from The Columbus Dispatch 11/08/12)

By Jon Christensen


















Seasonal variations are alive and well at Olde Towne East’s Black Creek Bistro, which manages a surprising variety in a small menu.

The pancetta pear crisps ($8) are made with four slices of firm, crisp Asian pear — each topped with a matching round of pancetta, sliced thin and accurately crisped. The best part might be that it’s topped with leaves of fresh thyme; there’s also a sprinkle of very mild goat cheese and a tiny drizzle of Ohio honey.

Medium-size shrimp are nicely marinated with garlic and herbs and grilled briefly before being served with a mild romesco sauce, reddish with pepper and tomato, and sides of mesclun mix and some couscous cooked with mild onion. The small plate could be a light meal for someone with a small appetite (grilled shrimp romesco, $9).

One of the best small plates is the duck tostada ($9). Properly braised duck, which has developed a lot of flavor in the process, is pulled and placed on a round, crisp corn tortilla, then topped with laid-back charred poblano sauce, white beans and avocado. Think savory and complex.

The duo of lamb anchors the small entree list ($24). Two generously thick chops are simply grilled after being marinated with citrus. They’re served with a brown sauce made of balsamic vinegar and bacon. Like the other entrees, they come with accompaniments of the day, such as quartered redskins roasted with a bit of rosemary and sauteed zucchini.

The tres leches cake ($8) is so good that you should consider building your meal around it. The pumpkin-laced cake is unusually moist, yet manages to preserve a very good, semolinalike texture. It’s soaked in a vanilla syrup that brings out its inherent flavors, including that of coconut milk.

To her credit, the pastry chef serves this excellent creation with plain whipped cream — no sugar, no spices, just plain — a perfect foil for the cake.

As before, the wine list’s markups are more moderate than most; and the more expensive wines have the lowest markups allowed under Ohio regulations. 

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