100 Best Restaurants 2010: Black Market Bistro

No. 57: Black Market Bistro

Cuisine: Thoughtfully crafted renditions of home-kitchen fare (roast chicken, apple crisp) plus chef-driven creations with the occasional dash of lemongrass or chimichurri. The menu doesn’t change much, but this is one of the most consistent places around.

Mood: With its white-lattice porch and Pottery Barn aesthetic, this collection of cozy dining rooms is loaded with small-town charm. You’ll even hear the windows rattle now and then—that’s just the freight train rumbling by.

Best for: Casual dinners; the terrific brunch; a brief respite from city living.

Best dishes: Crunchy cornmeal-fried oysters with freshly made tartar sauce; roast chicken, straightforward and satisfying; 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.

Insider tips: The restaurant takes a very limited number of reservations each night, so go early or late to avoid a wait. On nights when there’s a performance at Strathmore, tables usually open up around showtime.

Service: ••

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

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants

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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.