Janice Price presents the vital statistics of Black Sheep Restaurant, Jonathan Insetta's awesome new eatery and modern designed building in the heart of Five Points.
1534 Oak St (the now exceedingly pointy corner of Margaret and Oak)
Black Sheep. Everybody wants to know about this one. The decor is fabulous. Sleek, modern buildings can seem harsh and forbidding, but owner Jonathan Insetta chose colors, materials, and really beautiful lighting that transform the big angular space into an airy, inviting dining room. A rooftop lounge is in the works, with a bar and seating arranged around a fire pit, and the whole thing ringed around with a narrow garden, complete with small trees. On the roof. The view is AMAZING. They aim to have that ready in three or four weeks, but don't let that stop you from checking out the food now.
The cuisine is American fine dining, with a Southern accent, using food from local, sustainable sources as much as possible, with no weird chemicals added. They serve a quick but decidedly not fast food lunch from 10 am to 2:30 on weekdays, with soups, salads, sandwiches, and a few entrees (Mayport Shrimp and Grits sounds good right now).
The dinner menu is more extensive, featuring, well, just about anything you want to eat, with vegan and vegetarian options available.
At the risk of boring some of you, I have GOT to talk about the kitchen. The chef, Guy Ferri, gave me a tour of the kitchen, and it was jaw-dropping. I was rendered temporarily speechless, and that takes some doing. I have worked in restaurants off and on since dinosaurs roamed the earth, and this is the cleanest kitchen I have ever seen, and it is beautifully laid out. I have no particular desire to work in restaurants again, but I was seized by an insane urge to put on an apron again just so I could cook in that gorgeous kitchen.
Gratuity is included on parties of six or more.
text and photos by Janice Price