100 Very Best Restaurants: Black Market Bistro

French toast. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Jeff Black has such an understanding of the middlebrow diner, you’d think he had spent hours conducting studies of the market he dominates. But the restaurateur says he simply creates the kind of places he enjoys—cozy spots where the cooking comforts rather than challenges.

The dominant feature here is the space itself, with handsome molding and lustrous pine floors that transport you to one of Charleston’s stately rowhouses. That regional theme is reinforced by the kitchen, which, when it doesn’t yearn for the South (the shrimp and grits is lovingly faithful), longs for Italy (a gorgeous antipasti board). The wine list is full of values—bottles are half off on Mondays. On weekends, the place is a premier brunch destination. Digging into a stack of blueberry pancakes while sipping fresh-squeezed OJ is a kind of earthly bliss.

Don’t miss: Mussels with shallots, tomatoes, and parsley or lemongrass and coconut milk; cornmeal-crusted oysters; pan-seared trout; pumpkin-pecan “Boston cream pie.”

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

Expensive.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

Get Our Weekend Newsletter

The best DC news, delivered straight to your inbox.
Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.

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.