Let’s talk seriously about date night.
The idea sounds so lovely, doesn’t it? A quiet evening out with your companion. Perhaps things are getting serious and it’s time for a tête–à–tête or a mano a mano (you choose the language and physiology).
Perhaps the two of you got a babysitter for the first time in two months. Perhaps your crush has been a world traveler and they want to meet up with you to show you hundreds of almost identical photos of Machu Picchu but you simply dig their presence and that’s fine by you. Or…or…a tinder meet-up got…gulp…serious the last time around and you’re ready to impress them?
Well, have we got the perfect spot for any of the above permutations and combinations.
Black Mountain Wine House (415 Union Street at Hoyt Street) is located in Carroll Gardens — a romantic stone’s throw from Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, and Gowanus, or a romantic long walk from Park Slope.
The wine house / small plates restaurant has been warming up patrons for about a decade, but an evening there still feels like a revelation — as if you’ve found the best-kept-secret venue that you have tucked in your pocket only to be revealed when it’s time to impress your posse.
The low-lighting, warm woods, and fireplace serve as a muted and somewhat rustic backdrop for its namesake. The wine list is hearty, however, it doesn’t suffer from the mistake of offering an overwhelming selection.
We chose the light Petite Sirah (McManis, 2014, Lodi, CA. $11) as well as the full-bodied Tempranillo (Albet i Noya, 2013, Rioja, $9). We were happy with our choices, and stuck with those for a few glasses each.
The wine house also offers mulled wines, aperitifs, and solid selection of beers, as well as sherry. Keep in mind they don’t serve liquors, although you’ve really come here to enjoy their wine selection anyway.
Next time, we’re going to try their “Shider,” a mix of Fino sherry, apple cider, and ginger beer ($8) to warm us up.
The food menu is made up of about a dozen plates ($12 each) and a half-dozen cheese selections ($6 each, or 3 for $15). The plates are not particularly small — think somewhere between an appetizer and a full dish.
The crostini is a soft-crunchy mix of white beans, cherry tomatoes, and pesto served with warm ricotta and almond gratinee.
The tuna niçoise salad seems more like a full dish than any of the others we tried. They mix up “really expensive canned tuna” (their description, not ours) with green beans, feta, hard-boiled egg, and black olives. No matter what you choose from the menu, make sure this is one of your selections.
Put the goat cheese tart on your short list as well. The dish comes with roasted beets, potato, and balsamico. On a cold and rainy night, this was a perfect share for us.
On a warmer night, we would have had a glass of wine outside in their front area. Again, the rustic and warm quality of the atmosphere makes this feel like a hidden gem.
The service at Black Mountain suits the menu perfectly. The staff is very helpful but leaves you to your quiet conversation. Having said that, they keep an eye on you, so you don’t need to search them out at all.
So our final question to you is this: how’d your date go? We can’t make any promises about the two of you being a match-made in heaven. But we’re confident you enjoyed the wine, food, and atmosphere.
And just to make it clear, we’re not trying to put too much pressure on either of you. Relax, and just see where it all takes you.
We bet you’ll come back.
The Dining Rundown: Black Mountain Wine House
Where: 415 Union Street (at Hoyt Street), Carroll Gardens
Hours: Everyday, 3pm-midnight
Kid Friendly? It’s a romantic, quiet place. Leave them home for this one.
Editor’s note: Your editor had a great date.