An Evening with Danielle Klinenberg  11.5.17

An Evening with Danielle Klinenberg 11.5.17

At Blackbird, we are true believers in elegance through freedom. Freedom of interpretation, which often happens upon creating a culinary experience through art. Each year, we look to collaborate with an artist on a private, one-night dinner, during which our Chef de Cuisine, Ryan Pfeiffer, creates a menu that evokes the same depth of emotion and feeling as our featured artist's work.

This season, we've collaborated with artist Danielle Klinenberg to create an evening lush with her large-scale abstract paintings, and Ryan's and team's interpretation of her pieces. The menu we've created is meant to incite feeling and allow the guest to have their own reaction to both the images they'll be observing and the chef's interpretation of the art.

While guests hear the artwork's origin stories from Danielle, they'll enjoy a six-course dinner interpretation of the art. See below for menu (subject to change based on seasonal availability of ingredients).


- menu -


apple. trout roe. hazelnut. consomme

n.v Chateau Langlois, Cremant De Loire Rose


fregola sarda. cherry stone clam. mussel

2013 Domaine Landron ‘Le Fief Du Breil’ Muscadet


octopus. beet

2014 Barboursville Vineyards, Virginia Viognier


confit chicken. saffron. wheat beer

2014 Couly-Dutheil ‘Clos De l’Echo’ Chinon


beef. smoked mole. kuri squash

2011 Andrew Will ‘Two Blondes Vineyard’ Yakima Valley


pear. eggplant. sesame

n.v. Pineau des Charentes, Jean-Luc Pasquet


Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Reception: 6:00pm | Dinner: 6:30pm

Tickets: $175 (inclusive of tax & gratuity)

Seats are limited. To secure tickets, please visit: 

or contact | 312.496.0012.


Bird & Beer: A Collaborative Dinner with 5 Rabbit Cerveceria 7.16.17

Bird & Beer: A Collaborative Dinner with 5 Rabbit Cerveceria 7.16.17

After being open for nearly 20 years, Blackbird's main dining room and private second-floor space have become synonymous with minimalistic, elegant designs that allow our food to take center stage. But that also means inviting friends and collaborators in to dial up the vibrancy! This July, we're welcoming 5 Rabbit Cerveceria in for a private, ticketed dinner with beer & beer-cocktail pairings served alongside a six-course summer menu from Chef de Cuisine Ryan Pfeiffer. 

Tickets: $95 (exclusive of tax & gratuity)

 Reception: 6pm | Dinner: 6:30pm



Infladita de Ceviche de Camarón
Pairing: Micheladas with 5 Rabbit, Golden Ale

Pairing: 5 Lizard, Latin-Style Witbier

Seasonal vegetable course
Pairing: Paletas de Guayaba, Guava Wheat

Barbecued Sturgeon with almond, cherry, and mustard greens
Pairing: Cascarudo, Cascara Kettle Sour

Beef Short Rib with puffed grains and allium flowers
Pairing: La Piña de mis Ojos, Pineapple Sour

Glazed Striploin with caramelized shallot and blueberry
Pairing: Papichulo, Wild Fermented Sour with Acerola Cherries


Seasonal selection from Pastry Chef Nicole Guini
Pairing: El Iñigo Montoya (La Gloria variant), BBA Imperial Porter with Coffee, Goats Milk Caramel and Roasted Pecans

A Toast to Spring: Rosé Dinner at Blackbird 4.23 and 4.24

A Toast to Spring: Rosé Dinner at Blackbird 4.23 and 4.24

As this mild winter draws to a close and we turn our sights toward spring, it's only natural to have rosé on our minds. Fortunately, we're welcoming the season in true Blackbird form with a special five-course dinner, complete with pairings of the latest French and American rosé releases.

Sunday, April 23 and Monday, April 24, Chef de Cuisine Ryan Pfeiffer and Pastry Chef Nicole Guini will be serving a beautiful array of seasonal dishes alongside wines from Provence, Sancerre, California and Oregon, all hand-selected by Wine Director Chris Nostvick. Scroll down to view the full menu and purchase tickets.

6:30pm Reception, 7:00pm Dinner. Menu subject to change based on seasonal availability of ingredients.

- Menu -

peekytoe crab with green strawberry and chicken skin

ahi tuna with lamb bacon and pea shoots

lamb saddle with grilled vinegar and white asparagus

artisanal selection of new and old world goats milk cheeses

- Sweet -

rhubarb with toasted fennel, tahitian vanilla bean and white chocolate


Tickets: $115 inclusive of gratuity (exclusive of tax and Eventbrite processing fee)

Seats are limited. To secure tickets, please visit: or contact

Ridge Vineyards Dinner | 12.11 and 12.12

Ridge Vineyards Dinner | 12.11 and 12.12

Join us at Blackbird for a two-night, five-course dinner series with Ridge Vineyards Sunday, December 11 and monday, december 12 at 6:30 p.m. 

Over fifty years ago, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, searching California for those rare vineyards where climate, soil, and varietal are ideally matched. Ridge Vineyards has two locations; high on Monte Bello Ridge in California's rugged Santa Cruz Mountains in Cupertino, and in the heart of Sonoma County in Healdsburg. To provide Blackbird guests with the full Ridge experience, we'll be serving a thoughtful selection of red and white wines throughout the evening.

While guests enjoy a seasonal five-course dinner prepared by Blackbird Chef de Cuisine, Ryan Pfeiffer, they'll also be able to learn the history behind each of the featured wines from Regional Sales Manager, Christina Donley. Menu and details below.

Note: Tickets for Sunday's dinner are sold out. Due to popular demand, we've added a second seating on Monday, 12/12! Visit our Eventbrite page to secure your spot, or reach out to Tickets: $150 plus tax and gratuity.

Brooks Winery Dinner 6.12.16

Brooks Winery Dinner 6.12.16

Join Blackbird for a five-course dinner with Brooks Winery on Sunday, June 12 at 6:00pm. A pioneer in organic and biodynamic farming, the Oregon winery was founded in 1998 to great acclaim. 

Chef Ryan Pfeiffer's five-course menu centers on duck, which perfectly highlights Brooks Winery's purposefully selected pinot noir and riesling, some of which are very limited production, single vineyard and library wines. The menu showcases Pfieffer's philosophy of seasonality, while respecting the integrity of the animal by utilizing it in its entirety. Menu highlights include: 

  • white asparagus, duck skin, strawberries, white chocolate
  • poached halibut, duck fat, alliums 
  • duck sausage, favas, celery, lemon balm
  • duck breast, smoked egg, red wine, duck liver
  • seasonal dessert by nicole guini

Brooks Winemaker Chris Williams and Director Janie Heuck will be on-site to guide guests through the evening. Tickets are $145 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity) and seating is limited. Select and library release wines from the dinner will be available for retail purchase exclusively Binny's at the event. 

RSVP at the eventbrite link here  or contact Caroline at, or by phone at 312.496.0012.

James Beard Foundation Blog

Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap

Tucked away on a residential side street in what remains of Chicago’s Little Italy, Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap has been owned and operated by the same family since Joseph DiBuono and Theresa Tufano DiBuono opened their barroom in 1930. The original small table in the bar’s kitchen, where Joseph DiBuono worked his culinary magic, has since expanded to include two dining rooms that are regularly packed with businessmen, police officers, families, and pregame sports fans. Today the restaurant is run by Joey DiBuono, the grandson of the original owners, and he has maintained many of the details that ground Tufano’s in its history: chalkboard menus, a cash-only policy, and hearty Italian-American fare like fried calamari, eggplant Parmesan, and the DiBuono family’s legendary lemon chicken. 

Beloved by generations of Chicago natives, Tufano’s played a special role in the opening of James Beard Award–winning restaurant Blackbird. A favorite of Chef Paul Kahan, who ate there frequently with his father as a child, Tufano’s was also the site of early planning sessions among business partners Kahan, Donnie Madia, and Rick Diarmit, who used to huddle at the restaurant every Tuesday night while Madia tended bar. Today Kahan and Madia credit the iconic eatery with helping them shape their approach to hospitality and, as it turns out, stay afloat in the early days before Blackbird opened. 

Joey DiBuono and I went to high school together, and after Joey took over the restaurant, I worked for him for nine years tending bar. It’s a family restaurant, and it has been a family restaurant for eighty-five years. I remember working there when Joey's grandmother was still making sauce. I used to have Sunday dinners at his grandmother’s house next door and there was a pass-through to the Tufano’s kitchen—for years she used to pass the sauce through this pass-through. And his Aunt Toni would come at six in the morning when nobody was there to make the meatballs and the ravioli. 

Everything is served family-style there. There aren’t any menus: everything is written down on chalkboards throughout the restaurant. You just look at the board and talk to the servers and decide what you want to eat that evening. The eggplant Parm is made daily, and the lemon chicken with the potatoes is always a staple. Plus tripe in red sauce every Friday. Once in a while you’d be lucky enough to get his aunt Toni’s pizza and, I swear to god, she made the best pizza. For years I’d ask Joey to put her pizza on the menu.

I was working at Tufano’s when we were in the conceptual phase with Blackbird and having conversations about what kind of restaurant we were going to operate and how we were going to operate it. Paul and Ricky would come over every Tuesday night and we would have meetings at the bar. I would bartend, and they would eat eggplant Parmesan and Joey’s family’s famous recipe for lemon chicken. 

Joey was also instrumental in helping us open Blackbird. Not only did he give me an opportunity when I decided to make a career change and open the restaurant, but in those days we kept running out of money to finance this project and he was right there for us—not once but twice. He was a great pillar of support for us. 

We also learned an incredible amount about hospitality from Joey. Tufano’s is an amazing neighborhood gathering place, and Joey’s such an incredible host. He knows everybody’s name—whether it’s a politician or a regular who always eats there before a Bulls game, he not only knows their name, he also knows their kids’ names and at which table they'd want to sit. He knows how to greet people and welcome people. We knew that since Blackbird is this white, stark restaurant it could be intimidating to our first-time guests, so we welcome our guests like we’d welcome them in our homes, just like Joey does. 

We also run our business like a family business. Ricky’s mother worked in the pastry kitchen at Blackbird making truffles for nine to ten years. And before my aunt Rita passed away she would come in once a week to prep with all the line cooks and Paul. That’s what we got from Joey and Tufano’s: hospitality and a sense of family. —Donnie Madia, JBF Award Winner