January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants
Comments () | Published January 24, 2007
100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Black Market Bistro
Address: 4600 Waverly Ave., Kensington/Garrett Park, MD 20896
Phone: 301-933-3000
Neighborhood: Rockville, Kensington/Garrett Park
Cuisines: Modern, Breakfast, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11 to 2:30; Saturday 11 to 2:30. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5 to 9; Friday and Saturday 5 to 9:30; Sunday 5 to 8. Open for brunch Sunday 10 to 2.
Nearby Metro Stops: White Flint
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Cornmeal-fried oysters with tartar sauce; roast chicken; barbecue shrimp over corn-studded grits; wood-grilled hanger steak with chimichurri; fried-onion-topped cheeseburger; apple crisp; potato latkes and orange-vanilla French toast at brunch.
Price Details: Lunch appetizers, $4 to $9; entrées, $8 to $14. Dinner appetizers, $7 to $12; entrées, $9 to $25. Brunch entrées, $10 to $14.

No. 59: Black Market Bistro

Just minutes from the strip malls on Rockville Pike, this lovingly renovated post office turned restaurant is an oasis of countrified charm: a front porch for summer dining, freight trains clacking by, and a casual vibe that’s a fitting backdrop for the menu of comfort classics.

Black Market isn’t the most refined or flashiest or biggest of Jeff and Barbara Black’s four restaurants. But it’s the most likable and satisfying. Smart touches abound: Panko-crusted oysters come with a lemon-herb aïoli; black-bean soup is topped with a corn-poblano relish; a bowl of creamy scallion grits gets a boost from spicy-sweet New Orleans–style barbecue shrimp; a hardwood-grilled hanger steak is ramped up by a complex chimichurri; a rockfish is jolted to life by a stew of cockles, chorizo, and spinach.

More down to earth but no less rewarding are the Black Market burger with crispy onions and the pizzas—especially the Bianca with caramelized onions and garlic. Also not to be overlooked is the frozen chocolate-toffee crunch cake for dessert.

The popularity of the place and a no-reservations policy means waits at peak hours. But then again, some things are worth the wait.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 12:50 PM/ET, 01/24/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews