100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: BlackSalt

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Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Jeff and Barbara Black’s frosted-glass-lined dining room mixes the clubby vibe of a neighborhood gathering place with an ambitious kitchen celebrating all things seafood. The bar area and main dining room are often buzzing with conversation. (Looking for quiet? There’s a more sedate, if less exciting, back dining room.) Appetizers tend to be stronger than main courses—many of the latter are either busy or boring—so an assembly of these small plates is the most promising way to a really good meal. Our current favorites: a Caesar salad that doesn’t skimp on the anchovies, Ipswich clams worthy of a New England fish shack, and a hefty cut of sweet butterfish in a terrific mango sauce. Up front is DC’s best seafood market, where—depending on the season—you might find Maryland rockfish, super-sweet Taylor Bay scallops, and excellent Maine lobsters.

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

Don’t Miss: Clam chowder; raw oysters; house-cured anchovies with tonnato sauce; grilled sardines; bigeye tuna with pork belly and ginger-soy broth; crabcakes; butterscotch pot de crème; banana cream pie. 

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.