100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Black’s Bar & Kitchen

Critic’s Rating:


Wood-grilled duck breast. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

True to the Black Restaurant Group model, the large menu at
this Bethesda eatery puts seafood at center stage—though wood-grilled
meats such as Long Island-raised Pekin duck breast and hearty Duroc pork
chop have a way of luring guests away from saucy mussels and Old
Bay-dusted shrimp cocktail. The dish not to skip is the aromatic
saffron-tomato seafood stew, stocked with mussels, squid, head-on shrimp,
and crusty bread to sop it all up. Because service can be uneven, we
suggest opting for the casual booth-lined bar over the more staid dining
room—arrive early to take advantage of the 4-to-7 happy hour on weekdays,
which includes specials on beer, wine, cocktails, and shellfish.

Don’t miss: Shrimp-and-avocado salad; cornbread with
honey butter; yellowfin-tuna loin with black beans and red mole;
Thai mussels; buttermilk-battered fried chicken; affogado (ice
cream, espresso, and Grand Marnier).

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

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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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.