First Bite: Blackbird Kitchen & Bar


I stopped into the brand new Blackbird Kitchen & Bar this week to check out the scene and the opening menu. Tucked neatly into a narrow, two-story space on 9th street (hint: if you’re visiting, use the 10th and K street parking garage) in downtown Sacramento, this dim, crowded spot has a distinctly hip, urban vibe and somewhat limited seating. The focal point of the space is the oyster bar, and staff are kept busy prying open platefuls of Beausoleil, New Brunswick and Kumamoto oysters for hungry patrons. There’s also a fun array of menu items featuring raw seafood, including an intriguing Arctic char with housemade kimchi and a honey-soy reduction, sprinkled with black lava salt. Don’t miss the dazzling applewood-smoked clam and seafood chowder; or the Blackbird burger, smothered with melted white cheddar cheese and piled high with bacon, avocado and grilled spring onions. Note: The restaurant does not take reservations, so arrive early or be prepared to wait.