Pastry chef Janelle Birdsall is serious about the cocoa bean.
Chocolate Times Three
Birdsall's Chocolate Trio at Black’s Bar and Kitchen (7750 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda; 301-652-6278; blacksbarandkitchen.com) is intense, playful, and original. The mini portions are just enough to satisfy and maybe leave you wanting a bit more. One is silky chocolate panna cotta with a brownie base and a cocoa nib. Next is a gooey dark-chocolate soufflé tart tucked into a brittle dark-chocolate shell. Rounding things out: mini ice-cream “sandwiches”—house-made chocolate ice cream between tiny chocolate-chunk brownie cookies. It would be hard to pick just one. Luckily, you don’t have to.