Food

100 Best Restaurants 2012: Black Market Bistro

From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

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For many, the word “bistro” calls to mind bent forks, steak frites, and Paris. Jeff and Barbara Black’s creaky-porched restaurant couldn’t feel farther from France–the wainscotted former post office looks like the setting for a Martha Stewart Living shoot–but it shares an important trait with its European cousins: It excels at simple food done with care–crunchy oysters, parsley-showered mussels, barbecue shrimp. The kitchen’s shortcut-free ethos is especially apparent at brunch, when many restaurants go through the motions, turning last night’s special into this morning’s omelet. Here, fresh-squeezed orange juice and just-baked pastries are a given, and the orange-scented French toast is a reason in itself to come.

What to get: Corn chowder (summer); Thai-style mussels; hanger steak with chimichurri; cheeseburger; roast chicken; apple crisp; potato pancakes with house-made apple sauce (brunch).

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.

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