100 Best Restaurants 2008: Black Market

No. 44: Black Market

Cuisine: Generously portioned comfort food that bears a creative touch, minds the seasons, and never takes shortcuts: The duck confit, the cured salmon, even the dollop of applesauce with the brunchtime latkes are all house-made.

Mood: Jeff and Barbara Black’s stylishly comfortable restaurant lays on the charm with paintings of turnips and asparagus and, on some warm nights on the porch, a jazz trio interrupted only by the whistle of a nearby freight train. Garrison Keillor couldn’t have imagined it better.

Best for: Impromptu family dinners, leisurely Sunday brunch, capping off a long day with comfort food.

Best dishes: Cornmeal-fried oysters; plump mussels with tomato and herbs; barbecue shrimp over grits studded with sweet corn; wood-grilled hanger steak with chimichurri; a roasted half-chicken smothered in herbs and served with just-buttery-enough whipped potatoes; a good and messy cheeseburger with fried onions; orange-infused crème brûlée; caramel-drizzled apple crisp.

Insider tips: At some places, brunch is a sly way to get rid of leftovers (beware of lobster omelets). Not here: The menu is carefully planned and executed, from the fresh pastries to the applewood-smoked bacon.

Service: ••

Get Our “Brunches This Weekend” Newsletter

The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.