Open for only a few days, Black Swan NYC is the latest in the Gastropub craze sweeping New York. Located in a restaurant starved section of Bed Stuy-Brooklyn, the owner Sershan Pather wanted to open a nondescript neighborhood spot, Sershan says, “where people could just hangout”. The ex-auto shop is shielded with a black fortress like front,the dining room is plastered with black wood paneling, hefty hand carved recycled wooden tables, banquettes and a long communal that completes the room. At the entrance, the bar is large and comfortable with various ales,stouts,and lagers from the four corners of the globe, all supplied by Craft Beers. The menu is nouveau pub fare,with Chef Cynthia Walker late of Brown Betty turning out plates like, Salt Cod Fritters with Carmel Ginger sauce, Roasted Island Spice Chicken with butter Rum plantain mash and sautéed collard greens and Chicken Wings [served at the bar] with sweet & spicy Thai or Jerk sauce. Sershan says,” This is a culturally rich neighborhood, with no real quality place to eat, it was nice seeing the guy that’s lived in the neighborhood for 40 years eating next to young students who just moved in”.

The Black Swan burger is available loaded with assorted toppings, such as bacon, avocado, goat cheese or fried egg.Today I’m having it the way owner Cynthia likes it, with white cheddar, caramelized onions and a little ketchup. The beef is from The Piccinini Brothers, who also supplies Dumont burger. I sat in a banquette and watched Palermo beat AC Milan in the Serie A soccer, anxiously awaiting Cynthia’s handy work. My burger arrived perfectly stacked with white cheddar, an 8 oz. patty smothered in caramel brown onions, on a well toasted brioche from Balthazar Breads. The fries were stuffed into a chinese take-out box, and were crispy thin, with just the right amount of salt. The burger was juicy and forthcoming with plenty of flavor, the crunchiness of the brioche was a little troubling and crumbly, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. If I could change anything-that would be it. The burger was fat, pretty and had plenty of personality- not a bad first time Black Swan burger.

After a Planes,Trains,and Automobiles type trek to Black Swan NYC, I was greeted by an excitement and fledgling restaurant staff, that were generally happy and looking forward to serving their neighborhood,mostly locals, some of which decide to hangout there on their night off. This attitude and commitment, and good solid Gastropub chow , will hopefully keep this place a float. I enjoyed my experience at Black Swan, and the burger was worth the 35 plus minutes it took me to get there by the MTA’s shoddy haulage.

Black Swan on Urbanspoon


  1. sally says:

    did you try the burger at freemans? pretty tasty, and fries were exceptional too.

  2. bedstuybro says:

    I wandered passed The Black Swan this evening and at first had to look twice to realize it was an open establishment…Everything is so dark you can’t tell if it’s opened or closed…If it weren’t for the placard out front I’d never have noticed. The place is fancy. Too bad the neighborhood isn’t. WAY overpriced for its portions…and the beers are just too much money for anyone living in bed-stuy to be able to actually hang out and enjoy. I’ve said this a hundred times…this neighborhood is NOT Clinton Hill. It wants to be, but it’s not…especially when a well known squat is right next door. As a 10 year resident of this corner…I’d say they are reaching too far too fast on this one…Those kinds of prices just won’t last in this neighborhood…They will become the next Colador in which they make enough to stay open but the owners have to work 80 hour weeks because they can’t afford to pay anyone else to. The most immediate residents are all Pratt students or somewhat successful professionals and they just can’t afford the $20 it costs with tip for a beer and a small meal here…The average rent of renting a room in this area is $500-$700…Anyone I know living that cheap doesn’t frequent this kind of place…Best of luck to them…but this area just isn’t quite ready for that yet…maybe in another 5 years.

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