We have an admission to make: Up until a few weeks ago we had never tried Black Sheet Restaurant! Rarely does a new dining experience in Jacksonville really impress us…but that’s exactly what happened at Black Sheep, located at 1534 Oak St., Jacksonville, FL 32204 at historic 5 Points. The restaurant is still relatively new having opened in October 2012 and since then it has gained some notoriety as a largely locally sourced and trendy lunch and dinner spot. Here’s the review of our lunch experience at Black Sheep:
From the automatic entranceway to the exposed wood and hanging light bulbs, Black Sheep has an urban, semi-modern hip look on the interior. The atmosphere is casual and does not require dresses or jackets for men; jeans and a collared or nice t-shirt should work. There is bench and chair seating in the interior and nearly every seat has a view of the 5 Points neighborhood. Outside seating is available too. One extra feature is the upstairs bar and dining area. Patrons can reach the top floor by elevator, just look for the “ROOF” sign with an arrow. Views from the top floor are excellent and we recommend getting a seat on the roof when the weather is nice.
During our visit to Black Sheep, the brunch menu was available. However, many items, like the Korean Beef Shortribs are available on the brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. For starters, we tried the fried Pimento-Tasso Ham Deviled Eggs ($2). Although not earth shattering, this was an excellent way to start the meal. The deliciousness ramped up when our entrees arrived. The first was the Korean Short Rib Entree ($15) served with bulgogi marinade, Logan Turnpike grits, collard green kimchi, and a soft boiled egg on top. The flavors in the dish were well-balanced with spice from the collards and some sweetness from the sauce and delicious bed of grits. The meat of course was the highlight and was as tender as you would expect from a slow cooked short rib. This dish is highly recommended! Next, we tried the Wild Georgia Shrimp and Grits ($14) with Wainwright cheddar grits, tasso ham, creole tomato gravy, and pickled trinity (i.e. the pickled vegetables beneath the greenery on top of the dish). Another highly recommended and noteworthy dish, the shrimp was nicely seasoned and the chunky grits were again a highlight and balancing element to the dish. Lastly, we also tried the BLK SHP Club ($11), which includes country ham, roasted turkey, Pine Street bacon, swiss cheese, tomato, and black pepper aioli. There was nothing wrong with the club, but it wasn’t on the same level as the delicious short rib and shrimp and grits. All in all, Black Sheet impressed with their food.
Black Sheep offers a full array of cocktails like Park Street Collins with Crop Meyer lemon vodka, chamomile syrup, lemon, carbon piano, orange bitters ($11) and Three Hour Tour featuring Hendricks gin, strawberry shrub, lemon, apparel, Jamaican bitters ($11). Pair this with the great views and seating on the roof and you have the premier venue venue for relaxed drinks and food in Five Points.
One of the best traits about a great server is knowledge of the menu. On the day of our visit, our server was knowledgeable about all the available items and helped us choose some of the items that we enjoyed. Aside from menu knowledge, our server was well-timed and we walked away happy.
Black Sheep is one of our favorite (semi) new restaurants in town and we confidently give it the Jacksonville Fine Dining Examiner’s stamp of approval. Black Sheep seamlessly combined upscale dining with a casual, urban feel and the end result is simply fantastic. If you’re looking for a good meal in Five Points, definitely give Black Sheep a try.
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