100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: BlackSalt


One of the seating areas at BlackSalt. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

About BlackSalt 


4883 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington, DC 20007
NW Northwest Dr
Silver Spring, MD

Each night in the open kitchen off this dining room lined with
Mondrian-like grids of frosted glass, chef Thomas Leonard and his crew
deftly turn out bacony oysters Rockefeller one minute, pristine fluke
sashimi the next. The menu may be all over the map—dashes of Mexico, hints
of Provence—but the common denominator in most dishes is that seafood is
the star.

Oyster lovers are rewarded with bivalves from British Columbia,
New England, and Washington state, and owners Jeff and Barbara Black have
collaborated with Virginia’s Rappahannock Oyster Co. to come up with two
varieties of their own (we like the brinier Old Black Salts).

Fronting the restaurant is the area’s best fish market—it
carries most of the seafood you’ll find on the menu (excellent lobsters,
sweet scallops from Taylor Bay).

Don’t miss: Bigeye-tuna
tartare; fried clams with curried aïoli; tuna with pork belly and
ginger-soy broth; bouillabaisse; Key-lime pie; butterscotch pot de
with a Dewar’s milkshake; brunchtime gravlax with

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

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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.