Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bread Winner

At Black Tree, seasonal goods taste better on a sandwich


Spring has sprung. We're pretty certain this time.

And until the infernal hair dryer-like breath of summer comes down on us, the city is in full bloom — especially now that Black Tree, the freshest kid on the block, has arrived.

The original Crown Heights-based sandwich shop (tucked into the back of Crown Inn) has just expanded over the river and is now bringing to your plate the best of the greenmarkets in between two slices of bread.

The spare space is outfitted with a large bar made from bowling alley wood dating back to the 1920s, hand-painted signs, and Edison bulbs — hey, it's still the LES.

That bowling bar's fully stocked with a carefully curated selection of spirits, which pair nicely with the seasonal splendor of duck banh mi  with house-smoked duck, duck liver mousse, spicy pickles, and duck cracklins’.

But don't hold out for that, because if it’s not at the greenmarket, Black Tree isn't serving it, and menus change every couple of weeks. Cheese is local from Saxelby’s and Lucy’s Whey, but anything the shop can make in-house, it does.

And that means house-made bitters, which make an appearance in cocktails like Under the Tree, with vodka, cranberry juice, and lovage syrup.

And somehow having no idea what lovage is makes that duck banh mi taste even better.

Black Tree
131 Orchard St. (Delancey St.), Lower East Side
(212) 533-4684

Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Subway: F to Delancey St.
Scene: A quick stop after a trip to the New Museum, or for casual drink-and-sandwich times.
Hot seat: Any table is fine, but you can also grab to go and sit in the park nearby.
Best bets: Stick to the seasonal specials.
Nearby: Pok Pok Phat Thai; Freeman's; The Delancey

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