Blackbird Brews Up the Best Mussels in Town

The ever-growing 35th – and beyond - Nicollet Avenue has brought a variety cafes, restaurants, and coffee shops to Lyndale and Kingfield neighborhoods. One small place, Blackbird, caught my eye as I drove down the street.

Brandi Stillings

Brandi Stillings

We were in search of something different, but substantial. After eating multiple times a week at the same next door eatery, it was time to venture down just three more blocks to 3800 Nicollet. Blackbird is a quaint café with a mixture of French, Asian, and American spread out on a clean, laidback menu. My boyfriend and I decided to order a few appetizers.

The room was kindly lit with candles and other low lighting provided by ginormous gothic lanterns that paired well with the dozens of deer antlers hung about the walls. I really enjoyed the mixture of antique, eclectic décor. It made me feel right at home, as those are things that I would buy and hang around our brownstone condo. 

First, we had the steamed buns. These were pretty close to the traditional buns I’ve tasted on my ventures overseas on the island of Taiwan. The buns were filled with juicy pork belly, Kimchee, and a caramel glaze, and I knew I would love it after the first bite. Next, the server brought a pound of their Ale Steamed Mussels. Cooked with wittekirke, and harrisa & butter (a favorite ingredient of mine), these tiny encased little morsels of seafood were the highlight of my dinner. You could taste the bitter bite of the brew, along with slight hint of curry – very comforting for a brisk winter evening.

Across the table, my boyfriend chose the ‘The Longhorn’ sandwich that was filled with braised beef brisket, caramelized onions, tomatoes, provolone, and horseradish mayo. It was an enticing mouthful of delicious and satisfying flavors that we had been on a mission to find that day. Blackbird fulfilled our desire to find a comfortable, ‘home-away-from-home’ eatery.