The founder of Blacklock, five chop houses strong, compares the British tradition of the Sunday roast — friends and family gathered to share a beast of a feast at week’s end — to the abundance of the most food-focused holiday in the United States.
“It’s like Thanksgiving every week,” says Gordon Ker, whose restaurant collection includes a brick-and-wood branch in the arty neighborhood of Shoreditch, in what was a furniture factory in the 1930s.
You can order appetizers and single out a meat for Sunday roast, but our server tells us to skip starters and cut to the chase with what the menu calls “All in,” a chance to sample a veritable meat locker: aged beef rump, lamb leg and pork loin, plus side dishes. We do as we are told and get rewarded with a palooza of protein punctuated with garlic cloves — blushing pink beef, fat-limned pork and sweet slices of lamb draped over a catcher’s mitt of a Yorkshire pudding. Mellow carrots and soft cabbage round out the platter. “At Blacklock, we try to make things convivial and nostalgic,” says Ker. Leave your belt undone; even though we’re filling up, the meat begs to be polished off.
The founder says he scouted sources in Scotland, Ireland and elsewhere before landing on the grass-fed animals raised by third-generation farmers and butchers in Cornwall, in a blind tasting. Don’t eat meat? Not to worry. Blacklock also offers a whole bulb of celeriac, cooked like the meat over a charcoal fire.
“No pudding for you! You didn’t finish your greens,” our server says, pretending to be our parents. No surprise, toothpicks are included with the check.
I’m a stranger to Blacklock, but the restaurant turns me into a fanboy. On my way out, I ask the host for the number of my see-and-be-seen corner table, so I can request it on my next visit, and he is way ahead of me: He’s already put No. 43 on my profile in the reservation system. Nice touch — and further reason to return.
28-30 Rivington St. 44-20-7739-2148. theblacklock.com. Sunday roast, $20 to $32.