Status: Opens tonight at 5PM
As of today, what was once Studio City's Wine Bistro has been reformatted into Black Market, a new drinking and dining spot organized by Mario Guddemi and Sal Aurora of Happy Ending in Hollywood in conjunction with team La Descarga/Harvard & Stone, Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni. Remember that new undisclosed cocktail-driven bar mentioned late last month? Well this here is it. The interior has been retooled to feel like a neighborhood tavern or pub, there's a vaulted brick ceiling, long wooden bar to the left, and a handful of booths that face the bar. But unlike that generic neighborhood watering hole, Black Market has hired a stellar all-star crew to run its ship. Jace Milstead, certified cicerone, organized Black Market's short list of craft beers (which will fluctuate), Sally Kim of Terroni handles sommelier duties, and of course Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni worked together to create the boozy offerings.
The idea here was to create simple but delicious libations ($11 each) such as the Mexican Firing Squad (tequila, lime, house made grenadine, bitters, soda); City Fiz (gin, pastis, egg white, cucumber, mint, lime, soda); and Vodka Buck (vodka, house made ginger syrup, lime, bitters, soda). But what about the food? As much as this is a bar, it's really a restaurant as well. Just stop by the open kitchen toward the back and, who do you see there? Shhhh it's a secret but perhaps you recognize her from Top Chef or Top Chef All Stars, can you guess who? Small plates range from house-made potato chips to alligator-chorizo sausage to grits, Benton's ham, fried collared greens, and a soft egg. Overall the menu has a slight lean toward Italian, don't miss the oxtail ragu. For dessert try the lemon tart or a spicy chocolate pudding with salted whipped cream.
Additional Reading: Rumonmongering, 5/27