Jeff and Barbara Black, the restaurateurs behind such hits as Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and BlackSalt, have a knack for creating restaurants with a strong sense of place. In left-leaning Takoma Park, they’ve fashioned a bar and dining room from odd bits (vintage Victorian sofas, jet-engine parts), peppered the menu with vegan options, booked blues bands, and kept the place open late (till 1:30 am Friday and Saturday).
The result is an easy-to-like spot with clever cocktails (the Fascist Killer, a potent mix of rye, Chartreuse, and amaro) and food that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Will it be oysters on the half shell from the raw bar or wood-grilled ones (a Pearl Dive specialty) from the kitchen, helmed by chef/owner Danny Wells? Both are good bets, and the grill yields other pleasures such as nicely charred sardines and crisp-skinned chicken under a brick. Even non-vegans will appreciate Wells’s ancient-grain salad with shallots, pomegranate seeds, and a trifecta of farro, quinoa, and wild rice.
- Addie’s mussels
- Rockfish with Parmesan polenta
- Burger with mustard-ale cheddar
- Carrot-parsnip cake