Niche restaurants — for particular ways of eating — are pretty commonplace these days. Where ever you go, you’re likely to find a vegan or a vegetarian restaurant, but that can’t really be said for gluten-free outposts. While there have been a proliferation of gluten-free bakeries and obvious interest with the surge of gluten-free products in the grocery store, there hasn’t really been an entire restaurant dedicated to serving only gluten-free fare.
A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to try out such a place at Black Rock Social House, a new gastropub and gathering place in the historic Black Rock district of Bridgeport, CT dedicated to gluten-free cuisine.
Owned by Mark Turocy, a seasoned professional with 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry and led by Executive Chef Jacob Raitt II, formerly of Washington DC and a culinary graduate of Baltimore International College, you’ll find a vibrant and welcoming dinner and brunch menu featuring a variety of flavors and cuisines inspired from around the world with Black Rock Social House’s take.
This included starting with a gorgeous Charcuterie platter, made with homemade strawberry preserves, Marcona almonds, giardiniera, toast points, and a variety of cheeses and meats. This was a fun way to start the meal as we enjoyed nibbling on the platter and trying out a little bit of everything. Oh, and the mustard was incredible!
We then moved on to “Noshables” (aka a much cooler way of saying appetizers) and enjoyed their House Made Meatballs made with Beef, Veal And Pork Meatballs, Slow Roasted Marinara, and Burrata Cheese, Fried Green Tomatoes made with Heirloom Tomato Jam and Lemon Aioli, and Prince Edward Island Mussels as well as the Octopus Salad, which was a hit with its amazing Roasted Tomato, Torn Herbs, Calabrian Chili Sauce, and Quinoa.
In between bites, we enjoy crafted cocktails featuring favorites like The Busy Bee made with Gin, Honey Simple Syrup, Lemon Juice, Prosecco and the High Kick Margarita made with Reposado Tequila, Triple Sec, 1821 JCL Syrup, Lime Juice, to name a few favorites. Black Rock Social House also features a curated global wine list and a craft beer selection — even featuring gluten-removed beer from Firefly Hollow Brewing Company.
For main dishes, we continued to feast by enjoying the Crispy Pork Belly “Al Pastor” made with Poblano Peppers, Jicama, Pineapple Rice, Citrus Glaze, Pan Seared Arctic Char made with Chick Pea And Golden Raisin Salad, Turmeric Pickles, Herb Oil and their take on the Chicken “Paprikash” made with Herb Spätzle, Roasted Peppers, and Paprika Sauce.
All of the dishes were distinct and bursting with texture and flavor. The well-paired combinations were comforting, nourishing, and truly memorable.
The evening ended with sweet treats featuring the decadent Chocolate Mousse Parfait and the Local Honey Flan — both were incredibly enjoyable and the perfect way to end the experience.
Additionally, the restaurant is currently featuring dedicated global menus to specific parts of the world. This month, you can travel to Mexico to enjoy a gluten-free version of some classic Mexican dishes — Black Rock Social House style.
The restaurant is also a hub for art and music where you can enjoy live jazz (every Wednesday and Sunday), or take a look at their on-site art gallery, currently featuring the impressive work of one of their waitresses (@said_tra on Insta).
An incredibly impressive experience, you’ll leave Black Rock Social House with a new appreciation for their vibrant menu — that just happens to be gluten-free.
Visit Black Rock Social House
2895 Fairfield Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06605