Blackbrick: It's Cold Outside -- Go for the Wonton Soup, Stay for the Bourbon Trifle
Time for soup.
Photos by Laine Doss
It's cold, cold, cold today. And though South Florida doesn't have the frost that the rest of the country is getting, there certainly is a nip in the air. This kind of weather calls for soup.
Wonton soup from Blackbrick, Richard Hales' new midtown Chinese restaurant, to be exact.
Open just about a month, the restaurant is fast becoming a favorite among fans of good Chinese, as well as an industry hangout for chefs to let off steam after a long evening's shift. (Blackbrick is open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.)
Unlike the standard Chinese restaurant fare, the shrimp in these egg rolls are plump and succulent instead of small and dry. The pumpkin sweet-and-sour sauce adds dimension to run-of-the-mill duck sauce. Pumpkin purée and pie spices are slow-cooked in a wok to achieve the results ($6).
The wonton soup is a meal in itself and exactly what I wanted on a chilly day. A brimming bowl of broth is filled with house-made noodles, four shrimp wontons, and slices of pork; then it's all topped with crunchy fried noodles ($9). The stock, made from rabbit bones and vegetables, is a rich canvas for the other flavors in the soup. If food could give you a hug, this one would.
Dandan noodles ($12) come in a deceptively small bowl (deceptive because there seems like a never-ending amount of pork and noodles inside).
Three Treasures (Di San Xian), is a mixture of Swank Farms eggplant, potatoes, and peppers (both sweet and spicy). It's a classic dish of the northeast part of China and a welcome change of pace from the usual veggie stir-fry for vegetarians ($12).
Overly sated, I receive a dessert menu. I would have skipped a sweet ending if not for one word: pudding. Nothing, except soup, conjures comfort like pudding. Except bourbon. Which is why the bourbon trifle is an utter must-have.
The trifle, which dates back to the 1500s, layers pudding (or flavored Jell-O for some) with fruit and/or cake. Blackbrick's bourbon trifle is made with Buffalo Trace and topped with a house-made waffle fortune cookie.
Between layers of whipped bourbon-graced goodness lies crumbled banana bread. After the trifle is gone, I find myself looking longingly at the glass, hoping it will magically refill itself. I'm tempted to also try the pumpkin trifle and the chocolate brownie one -- they're only $4 apiece. But what would I look forward to on the next visit? And the one after that?
Patience, after all, is a virtue. In fact, I think that was the message I found in my Wife Hales fortune cookie. So on a blustery day like today, eat wonton soup. And leave room for dessert.
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