100 Best Restaurants 2011: Black Market Bistro

No. 36

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

In the world of fine dining, less is often more. That’s why it’s a compliment to say that this low-key spot—the best of Jeff and Barbara Black’s four restaurants—doesn’t try too hard.

The restored post office in leafy Garrett Park recalls a renovated inn in Charleston or Birmingham. The South isn’t consciously evoked, but its influence is unmistakable, from a well-priced menu that rarely changes to the kitchen’s strict adherence to an unfussy aesthetic. The best dishes—cornmeal-crusted oysters; a generous antipasto plate; spicy shrimp and grits—offer little in the way of discovery but are usually cooked very well. If there’s a surprise, it’s the wine list, a showcase of agreeably priced bottles from Napa, southern Rhône, Italy, and Australia that ranks among the best in Montgomery County.

Also good: Thai-style mussels; trout with almonds; hanger steak and fries; warm apple crisp; lemon-mousse cake.

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

>> See all of 2011's 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.