100 Best Restaurants 2008: BlackSalt
No. 56: BlackSalt
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
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BlackSalt
Address: 4883 MacArthur Blvd. NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-342-9101
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest, Palisades
Cuisines: Seafood, Modern, American, Breakfast
Opening Hours: Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Business Casual
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Sweet Nantucket bay scallops atop puttanesca; a salad of bitter escarole, sweet candied almonds, salty bacon, and tart apples; chowder with crisp fried clams; steamed mussels with chorizo and tomato sauce; tart Key-lime pie; butterscotch pudding with a Sc
Happy Hour Details:
Monday through Friday 4 to 7, Saturday and Sunday 4 to 6

Cuisine: Chef/owner Jeff Black’s most ambitious restaurant showcases seafood in all its guises, from dead-on renditions of fry-basket classics and gutsy stews to ambitious fusion dishes encompassing a range of global influences.

Mood: The front of the restaurant is given over to a well-stocked fish market. Farther back, the stainless-steel raw bar teems with Georgetown and Palisades drop-ins. Beyond that is the bustling, softly lit dining room.

Best for: Couples and foursomes on the hunt for pristine seafood and a party that never seems to end.

Best dishes: Well-sourced oysters on the half shell; New England clam chowder brimming with clams and cockles; fried Ipswich clams with garlicky romesco sauce; deconstructed seafood stews such as Portuguese cataplana with dorade, pork, and olives, and Peruvian parazuela with sea bass, shrimp, and coconut; Rhode Island fluke with Banyuls-hazelnut brown butter; butterscotch pot de crème with a scotched milkshake; banana-coconut cream pie with thyme-honey roasted pineapple—the essence of the Caribbean in a single slice.

Insider tips: Weekday lunches and the Sunday jazz brunch are easier reservations to come by than dinner—and just as rewarding. In the James Bondy new tasting room—complete with sliding doors—a fixed-price, five-course menu includes such high points as a kushi oyster with caviar and crisped diver scallops and sweetbreads.

Service: ••½

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews