100 Best Restaurants 2010: BlackSalt
Comments () | Published January 1, 2010
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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
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Saturday 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 9:30; Friday 5:30 to 11; Saturday 5 to 11; Sunday 5 to 9. Open for brunch Sunday 11 to 2.
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Upscale 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

Cuisine: Of all the restaurants in Jeff and Barbara Black’s local empire, this fishhouse is the most polished and most expensive. But the premise is wonderfully simple: an ever-changing roster of often rustic dishes built around well-sourced seafood and fish, from Maryland rockfish to Japanese hamachi.

Mood: A tidy fish market fronts the restaurant: A stainless-steel-accented bar/cafe is the casual counterpart to the bistro next to the glass-walled kitchen in back. The spaces share tight quarters, a menu, and—when the place is full—lots of energy.

Best for: Seafood lovers who don’t want precious preparations of raw fish.

Best dishes: Sweet Nantucket bay scallops atop a zesty puttanesca; a many-splendored salad of bitter escarole, sweet candied almonds, salty bacon, and tart apples; creamy chowder with crisp fried clams; steamed mussels with chorizo and tomato sauce; tart Key-lime pie; butterscotch pudding with a Scotch milkshake.

Insider tips: You can easily make a meal from a couple of happy-hour-menu small plates and $5 Champagne cocktails, available daily from 4 to 7 in the bar and cafe. You can order one of pastry chef Susan Wallace’s seasonal fruit streusels from the market up front.

Service: ••

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

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