Black Sheep in Riverside Opens its Doors for Brunch

Posted by Bloom Realty on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 at 1:00am.

Black Sheep Restaurant in Riverside - Brunch
Black Sheep Restaurant in Riverside - Brunch

By: Alan Aptheker
Black Sheep is one of the newer eateries in the Riverside/Avondale district, and like its sister restaurant, Orsay, its opening late last year was widely anticipated. Like Orsay, its physical design/decor, and notably fresh, home grown menu ingredients are perpetuating what has become a new standard for dining in Jacksonville, especially with the savvy foodies that tend to frequent that part of town.

Since its opening last October, it has garnered favorable reviews for lunch and dinner. It's upscale urban, with a minimalist feel to the menu, as they are clearly emphasizing the artisan nature of their offerings. The newest wrinkle for Black Sheep is Sunday Brunch, which kicked off with a soft opening in Mid-February. We were delightfully pleased to take part, and equally delighted with the food and service. Where it is fashionable to serve uber-sized brunch entrees, as is the case with Orsay and Metro Diner, for example, the portions at Black Sheep were more subdued, but no less tasty.
 

Black Sheep Restaurant in Riverside Jacksonville FL - Bar
Black Sheep Restaurant in Riverside Jacksonville FL - Bar

Sometimes it's not immediately obvious, or even appreciated, that a restaurant focuses on using ingredients that are not mass produced. Black Sheep procures much of its meat and produce from Black Hog Farms in nearby Palatka, and the difference is especially evident in their charcuterie items like the bacon, ham, and sausages that we sampled from the brunch menu. There is a huge difference in flavor and texture over the meats from factories that supply the chain restaurants. You just have to be prepared to pay a bit more. 

Black Sheep Restaurant in Riverside Jacksonville FL - Black Sheep Benedict
Black Sheep Restaurant in Riverside Jacksonville FL - Black Sheep Benedict

The shining star at Black Sheep 5 Points for cocktail hour is the rooftop, open air lounge on the fourth floor that makes optimal use of the building's modern, angular design. It's not open for food service yet, but because we had not seen the space and heard so much about it, the manager was accommodating enough to take time out to usher us up to the rooftop to take a look. It promises to be a prime platform for dining given the spectacular atmosphere and stunning views.

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