Black Sea Restaurant & Bar

On the main floor of the Franklin Hotel, in downtown St.John’s, lies a restaurant boasting authentic Mediterranean cuisine with a unique local twist.

Each time I walk past this restaurant my gaze is drawn in by the clean and modern floor-to-ceiling windows and each time, I am further intrigued by the open yet cozy-seeming atmosphere which lends itself to the consistently happy-looking diners lining the interior of the Black Sea Restaurant & Bar.

Black Sea Restaurant and BAR St.John's Newfoundland downtown where to eat

As you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted by a large well-lit, modern bar while the main dining room is situated to your right. The restaurant’s decor is minimal with colour-interest from accent walls, textural-interest from authentic red brick and visual-interest with various art pieces throughout.

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat drink mediterranean

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat drink mediterranean Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat drink mediterranean

We were seated immediately, thanks to having a reservation. Quite early into our evening, the restaurant began to fill-up.

As per usual, I started my dining experience by looking through the drink menu. The Black Sea has a nice assortment of delicious-sounding beverages, but with warm-weather on the rise, I was immediately drawn in by the White Wine Sangria.

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat drink mediterranean cocktail menu

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat drink mediterranean cocktail menu white wine sangria

I ordered the half pitcher of White Wine Sangria ($18) for myself and was incredibly pleased! The mix was perfectly flavoured with a unique focus on peach flavours (which was amazing) and loads of fruit – I even ate some of the fruit after the drink itself was gone.

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat drink mediterranean cocktail menu white wine sangria pitcher

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat drink mediterranean cocktail menu white wine sangria pitcher Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat drink mediterranean cocktail menu white wine sangria pitcher

I have been craving this fresh, crisp and flavourful drink ever since this meal – I can’t wait to return to get the full pitcher.

The dinner menu at the Black Sea is simple and sticks to its Mediterranean-based theme. With a selection of Soups, Salads, Appetizers, Evening Specials and Entrees there is something to please all diners.

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.John's Newfoundland where to eat drink review dinner menu mediterranean

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.John's Newfoundland where to eat drink review dinner menu mediterranean entrees

We started our meal with the Retro Salad ($12). The premise of this salad is a popular one, which makes it a good opportunity to showcase the originality of the restaurant’s chef. This particular version featured Lebanese string cheese, spinach greens, quinoa, strawberries and toasted pecans with a sweet martini and pomegranate vinaigrette.

I was particularly intrigued by the lebanese string cheese and was disappointed to find the cheese I was presented with was in fact crumbled, not string. However, this did not affect the concept of the dish. The Retro Salad was fresh, seasonally appropriate and absolutely tasty.

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.John's Newfoundland where to eat drink review dinner menu mediterranean entrees retro salad spinach strawberry

For our second dish, we tried the Scallop Special (~$17) which featured 4 scallops in 3 different sauces. Overall, I loved this dish and would order it again.

The first sauce was a Cauliflower-Vanilla which featured a nice, smooth texture. I felt the vanilla was slightly too aromatic and did overpower the scallop, but I also appreciated the uniqueness of the flavour combination. It was an interesting experience!

The second sauce was an Avocado Thai Chilli Relish. The texture was slightly more chunky due to the avocado with a perfectly balanced flavour combination of sweet and spicy. This sauce was my favourite of the three.

The final sauce for the scallop dish was a Carrot Pepper Red Curry sauce. This rich, creamy sauce was also aromatic but was a lovely match to the perfectly seared scallop.

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.John's Newfoundland where to eat drink review dinner menu mediterranean entrees scallop avocado curry cauliflower Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.John's Newfoundland where to eat drink review dinner menu mediterranean entrees scallop avocado curry cauliflower

After these delicious starters, we were very excited to dig into our Entrees.

The first Entree we tasted was the Duck Confit ($33). This dish featured a traditional Duck Confit with a Cranberry Truffle Risotto and a Spicy Apple Gastrique. A ‘gastrique‘ involves a reduction of vinegar and sugar that can be infused with anything of your choice – in this case, Spicy Apple.

The duck itself was cooked to perfection and fell off the bone with a simple touch. The risotto side was creamy and rich which made a lovely companion to the duck confit. I would definitely eat this dish again!

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.John's Newfoundland where to eat drink duck confit asparagus risotto mediterranean

The other Entree at our table was the Tandoori Chicken ($31). This dish featured Tandoori Chicken Supreme with Basmati Rice with a Mint and Coriander Chutney and a Micro Salad.

I loved the presentation of this plate – the micro salad especially was visually interesting and was fun to eat.

Similar to the Duck Confit, the chicken was tender, moist, full of flavour and fell apart easily. The spicy rub on the chicken was complimented nicely by the Mint and Coriander Chutney. If you are not a spice-lover, I would not recommend this dish. However, if you like spice, the Tandoori Chicken is a must-try! I certainly can’t wait to try it again.

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat review food blog tandoori chicken basmati rice chutney mediterranean

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat review food blog tandoori chicken basmati rice chutney mediterranean

We finished our meals with complete satisfaction and were absolutely impressed with each of the dishes we tasted. As per the claim of the Black Sea Restaurant, all of the dishes were based on traditional Mediterranean cuisine and featured fantastic unique twists.

Naturally, we couldn’t resist trying their dessert. If you’re trying a new restaurant and are impressed with your meal, I highly recommend trying their dessert – chances are, you’re going to be really happy about it.

black sea restaurant and bar downtown st. john's newfoundland where to eat drink dessert decor review

We ordered the Baklava with Ice Cream. Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layered of filo, filled with chopped nuts which are sweetened while it all is held together with syrup or honey – which makes it incredibly sweet and just delicious.

I have had Baklava before, but this was the first time that I have had it warm and served with ice cream. The sweet and crispy layers of filo and honey were delectable and went perfectly with the traditional vanilla ice cream. I will be ordering this dessert again – in fact, I can’t wait.

black sea restaurant and bar downtown st. john's newfoundland where to eat drink dessert baklava ice cream review

We both thoroughly enjoyed our entire dining experience at the Black Sea. The food was authentic, well-presented and incredibly tasty. The service was genuine, helpful and although spotty at times, was enjoyable.

The decor was minimal, simplistic and allowed the food to speak for itself. The interior as a whole was an interesting mix of modern and traditional. I particularly enjoyed the exposed brick and the cozy feeling it imposed.

The only disappointment with my experience of dining at the Black Sea was that I hadn’t discovered it sooner! I’m eagerly awaiting a chance to return and taste more of this great menu.

Black Sea Restaurant and Bar downtown St.john's Newfoundland where to eat drink mediterranean cocktail menu white wine sangria pitcher


Deck Dining: Magnum and Steins

The season has finally arrived – deck season! Not much is better than a warm breeze, the sun beating down and enjoying a cool drink while basking in the warmth and company of good friends. Well, it gets a little better if you can do all that while enjoying some great food on the deck of a local restaurant.

On our first warm and sunny day of the season, I watched hopelessly from the window of my fourth floor office, while the entire downtown population made the best of the beautiful day. That was when I decided, it was the perfect day to kick off deck dining for the summer. I put out an open call on Twitter for tips on who had a dinner-ready deck and thankfully, Magnum and Steins answered my call.

bring the bread on twitter newfoundland st. john's where to eat deck dining drink magnum and steins

I called immediately to make a reservation on the deck and rounded up a group of friends who were up for the sunny food adventure.

If you recall my previous review of Magnum and Steins’ Lounge Menu, you’ll already know that I’m a fan of their food but, eating on their deck was a brand new experience and I got to try a new item on their menu.

Decor

Upon arrival, we were escorted through the modern dining room to the deck at the rear of the restaurant. The deck itself is quite small, seating only about 8 people, which made me very thankful that I did make a reservation!

The deck furniture is simple, bar-height and feels limited in comparison to the very chic decor of the restaurant’s interior. But, it was perfect for our casual evening out. Being a group of six, we had the deck to ourselves and enjoyed a private, catered affair in the warm sun.

magnum and steins restaurant wine bar deck eat drink st. john's newfoundland

Drinks

Naturally, we started our fête in the sun with drinks. I opted for a drink I reviewed last time – yes, it is that delicious. The Melontini is a fantastic mix of sweet melon and rich vanilla which was a perfect start to our meal.

magnum and steins restaurant and wine bar st. john's downtown newfoundland where to eat review deck patio dining martini reservation

While we mulled over the menus and noshed on the fresh bread appetizer, I tried out another mixed drink off the Magnum and Steins cocktail menu. This drink, the Sea Breeze, is a sweet and citrusy beverage mainly consisting of grapefruit juice. I will definitely be returning to try this fresh and light cocktail.

sea breeze cocktail martini magnum and steins downtown st. john's newfoundland eat drink where to eat restaurant review patio deck

Dining

The first dish which graced our table was the Charcuterie Plate. This plate featured Duck Prosciutto which was a real treat. However, the rest did fall a little flat and felt a little lack lustre overall.

charcuterie plate magnum and steins downtown st. john's newfoundland duck prosciutto salami chorizo where to eat restaurant review

Thankfully, this was followed by two much-loved dishes. Fish Tacos ($8 each) and the Mags Fries ($7). These two appetizers make a perfect combination together to create a casual meal, which is exactly what you need while deck dining with friends.

The Fish Tacos were served on a perfectly Grilled Flour Tortilla, while the Crispy Fried Cod was layered with Shaved Cabbage, Pico de Gallo and drizzled with a mouth-watering Chipotle Lime Crema. The Mags Fries feature Hand-Cut Bistro Style Frites with Parmesean Cheese and Fresh Parsley along with a complimentary dip.

Honestly, I wish I could eat this meal everyday. Both dishes are fresh, full flavoured and leave you wanting more.

fish tacos mags fries sea breeze martini cocktail charcuterie plate magnum and steins downtown st. john's newfoundland restaurant review where to eat patio deck dining wine bar

We continued our casual Magnum and Steins meal with the infamous Duck Confit Nachos ($10/half serving). This plate is a favourite of mine and I am always happy to be present for the first time others get to try it! Seriously, you need to go and try these nachos.

They’re rich, decadent and irresistible. The dish is based on crispy, Fried Wontons, topped with a Carrot & Ginger Slaw, drizzled with Sweet & Spicy Sesame Soy and finished off with a mound of juicy and rich Duck Confit.

duck nachos mags fries parmesan fries magnum and steins downtown st.john's newfoundland where to eat restaurant review wine bar deck patio dining

The last dish we ordered was a Magnum and Steins feature for the month of May; fresh, homemade Gnocchi. Gnocchi may seem like a popular restaurant dish however, finding a truly well-done gnocchi dish is rare.

This dish, was perfect. The base was rich yet subtle, which felt very authentic. The lobster claw admittedly felt out of place initially but its flavours blended perfectly with the tomato and garlic base – and was itself, delicious. The gnocchi was cooked to perfection with the tender, yet structured consistency that it should have.

I would be very happy to see Gnocchi as a feature on the Magnum and Steins menu again.

gnocchi lobster tomato magnum and steins restaurant review downtown st. john's newfoundland where to eat dinner patio deck dining bring the bread blog

Experience

Overall, my experience on the Magnum and Steins deck was wonderful! It was a real pleasure to have such a private dining experience at such a great restaurant, while getting to take advantage of a beautiful day in downtown St.John’s.

One thing to note is that it was a little noisy on the deck, as it is in close proximity to roof-top machinery from the restaurant and nearby buildings. However, you do get used to the background noise quickly – and surely the experience makes up for it!

On the next warm, sunny evening I highly recommend gathering a few friends and trying out the Magnum and Steins deck for a truly delicious experience!

magnum and steins restaurant st.john's newfoundland