100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: BlackSalt 

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Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Long before market/restaurant hybrids became trendy, chef Jeff Black’s seafood shop and dining room was a destination in the Palisades. Eleven years in, the crowds haven’t waned, though the space has been refreshed with bar-area banquettes and a brighter palette. Seafood—including specialties you can select from ice-laden cases for chefs to prepare—remains the main draw. Chef Mike Huff, who has spent time cooking in Italy’s Campania region, has added a few daily-special fresh pastas to the menu; they join a global lineup that’s strong when touching down in Europe (wood-grilled sardines with garlic-parsley sauce) and Asia (Skuna Bay salmon atop a rice tower). Portions run large and flavors tend to be rich, so it’s worth skipping a small plate and saving room for longtime pastry chef Susan Wallace’s retro sweets.

Don’t miss: Wood-grilled octopus with salsa verde; fried Ipswich clams with curry aïoli; steamed mussels with bacon and ale; whole grilled branzino with flageolet beans; jumbo prawn-and-red-miso stew; bouillabaisse; butterscotch pot de crème;banana-coconut cream pie.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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.