100 Best Restaurants 2008: Black's Bar and Kitchen
No. 64: Black's Bar and Kitchen
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Black's Bar and Kitchen
Address: 7750 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-652-5525
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: Steaks, Seafood, Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30; Saturday noon to 3. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10; Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 11; Sunday 5:30 to 9:30. Open for brunch Sunday 11 to 2:30. A late-night bar menu is available Thursday
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Cornbread with honey butter; mussels with tomato, lemon, and shallot; oysters on the half-shell; hanger steak with chimichurri or béarnaise; pappardelle with wild mushrooms, dates, and cured pork cheek; fried chicken with sweet-potato waffles; seafood ste

Cuisine: This flagship of the Black’s restaurant group (Addie’s, Black Market Bistro, and BlackSalt) tries to be a little of everything, with a raw bar for oyster lovers, a tapas menu for grazers, and some wood-grilled steakhouse fare with mix-and-match sides and sauces.

Mood: The restaurant bustles with regulars. The sleek dining room evokes Japan with its low banquettes and clean lines, while the bar, with its elevated booths and stools that leave diners’ feet dangling, summons Alice’s Wonderland.

Best for: Business lunchers, oyster fiends, wine lovers.

Best dishes: Oysters from the raw bar or fried with a sesame coating; seafood stew, a modernized cioppino with olives, preserved lemon, and fennel; sautéed shrimp with wild-mushroom risotto; succulent twice-cooked chicken; pomegranate-pine-nut tart with lemon confit; spiced Peruvian hot chocolate with alfajores; caramelized bananas with tres leches cake and dulce de leche.

Insider tips: Resist the allure of the grill—the kitchen is prone to leaving meats and fishes on too long, resulting in a bitter char. Build a meal instead around the “composed dishes,” small plates with big, Cali-Med flavors. They go down even better with one of the excellent California wines. A pretheater menu—three courses for $35 between 5:30 and 6:30 pm —could be Bethesda’s best bargain.

Service: ••

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