There’s nothing like fall’s bounty to inspire a chef to change things up a bit. Jamie Tran, the celebrated mind at the helm of southwest neighborhood eatery The Black Sheep, which opened in spring, recently added new menu items that reflect the flavors of this time of year.
And the dishes, plus their suggested boozy matches, come in a spectrum of hues. Here’s a sample of three duos we love.
Salmon Skin Tacos Paired With Common Law
The fleshy, pink-orange color of salmon-belly tartare finds its way into a crunchy salmon-skin taco shell with tobiko, smoked shishito peppers and micro cilantro. A mold forms it into the shape of a taco shell—but it’s quite labor-intensive to clean the skin, so there is absolutely no fishy taste. This dish was first served at the Great Vegas Festival of Beer before it made its way onto the new menu. Its green cocktail counterpart, Common Law, is crafted with Cimarrón Blanco Tequila, cilantro syrup and ginger lime—a refresher with bite that matches its equally crisp cohort.
Smoky Heirloom Beet Salad Paired With La Flama Blanca
One of Mother Earth’s most pungently colorful contributions to our diet, the beet is always a beautiful adornment to a plate. Both golden and red beets appear in this salad, their earthy taste complemented by a smooth citrus and goat cheese yogurt, spiced walnuts, black radish beet dust and watercress. Tran says she smokes the beets for eight hours before tossing them in a simple olive oil. In contrast to all the smoke in the dish, the Kai Lemongrass Shochu in the La Flama Blanca cocktail is light and fragrant, punctuated by spicy Thai chili syrup and egg whites, and a red Thai chili for a pop of color against its sublime foamy hue.
Braised Duroc Pork Belly Paired With Johnny Appleseed
Pork lovers know that nothing vibes better with the other white meat than apple does. So think of the Johnny Appleseed as an apple mule with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, spiced simple syrup and organic apple cider. This dish has it all, including creamy cauliflower puree, sweet sautéed kabocha squash and salty crispy pig-ear salad in a Vietnamese citrus vinaigrette. The pork belly is a protein that was previously on the menu, but it is stripped of its former garnish and completely reinvented.
For a full look at The Black Sheep’s new menu items, visit blacksheepvegas.com.
Photos by Krystal Ramirez