Food

100 Best Restaurants 2012: BlackSalt

From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

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Seven years ago, power couple Jeff and Barbara Black fired up the dining scene in DC’s quiet Palisades neighborhood with this fish market/restaurant–and it’s a testament to its enduring quality that on a recent Wednesday at 9 it was packed. Walking by the fish market up front–easily the best in the area–you’ll likely get a sense of what will be on the menu from the ice beds holding super-sweet Nantucket bay scallops, esoteric catches such as tilefish, or a bountiful array of oysters.

Dishes bear many accents, but we’ve most enjoyed those that conjure New England–clam chowder, fried clams with curried aïoli–or East Asia. A finely chopped circle of bigeye tuna is set off by a tangy ponzu sauce, while a coconutty red-curry stew gives salmon a Thai twist. The dessert menu hasn’t changed much over the years, but that doesn’t mean the sweets are any less good.

What to get: Bacony oysters Rockefeller; fried oysters with tartar sauce; grilled sardines with olive persillade; bouillabaisse; coconut-banana cream pie; butterscotch pudding; crawfish Benedict at brunch.

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

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