I have hesitated to write this review because in the past I have had good dining experiences at Blackfish, and this most recent visit was surely an exception, but there are some things worth mentioning.
Before getting to the cons, the pros are: the dessert was superb and the waitress was wonderful.
First of all, ambience. In theory it is lovely, an old blacksmith shop, beams, tools-of-the-trade, etc., a garden-y feeling in the back room; in practice it is not so successful. The poor acoustics make it difficult to converse. The tables are so close together your neighbors' conversations flow into yours and vice-versa because everyone is shouting, even the waiters, to be heard.
The lighting is oddly designed so I was sitting under a tracklight spot and my companion across the table, was sitting in the dark and unable to read the menu. (A neighboring diner came prepared and brought a small flashlight for this purpose. The menu is printed in tasteful, subdued neutral tones, very pretty but impossible to read in low light.)
Now to the food. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant will tell you never to order the "specials". I should have heeded this advice but fell for the wonderful-sounding gnocchi with confit de canard. What arrived was a bowl of liquified duck fat with four or five sadly disintegrating gnocchi at the bottom of it and several slivers of tough, stringy duck. My companion also had disappointment with a tuna bolognese over papardelle. The sauce was fine but the pasta had the texture of boiled cardboard. That said, we saw several great-looking dishes pass by on their way to other tables, so I admit, we probably should chalk this up to poor choice. However, I thought it worth describing the total experience diners should expect, not just the cuisine.
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