Washintonian Best Bites Blog- Rammy Awards 2012
Last night, restaurant owners, employees, and their loved ones gathered at the Marriott Wardman Park for the 2012 RAMMY Awards, the annual honors doled out by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. The theme of the evening—hats off to local restaurants—inspired presenters, nominees, and attendees to break out fascinators, fedoras, and all other manner of headwear in honor of the occasion. The big winner of the night was the staff of Black Restaurant Group. They scooped up three awards, including a Restaurateur of the Year trophy for Jeff and Barbara Black. Read Full Article...
Washingtonian 100 Best Restaurants 2011: BlackSalt
Jeff and Barbara Black’s seafood dining room in DC’s Palisades neighborhood dolls up lesser-seen catches—butterfish, mangrove snapper—with an atlas’s worth of accents: On a given menu you might find raita, kimchee, salsa verde, and ponzu sauce. Until recently, that would have been a danger sign—cooking at BlackSalt has been unfocused and over-accessorized. But chef Rick Cook is turning out dishes that are better and more precise than we’ve seen here. Read Full Article
BlackSalt fish market and restaurant gives Washingtonians a place to try new things in the dining room, and then take the same fish home to give it a try it their kitchen.
Born and raised in the area, Chef Richard Cook built his culinary skills and sensibility in the BlackSalt kitchen. He started from the bottom and worked his way up to Executive Chef.
CleanFish visited with him in the kitchen as he prepared a mahi mahi from CleanFish, line-caught in the Carolinas, for the Smithsonian's Demystifying Seafood tasting event during Ocean Week. Get a peak inside with the photo slide show.
Washingtonian 100 Best 2008: BlackSalt
Chef/owner Jeff Black’s most ambitious restaurant showcases seafood in all its guises, from dead-on renditions of fry-basket classics and gutsy stews to ambitious fusion dishes encompassing a range of global influences. The front of the restaurant is given over to a well-stocked fish market. Farther back, the stainless-steel raw bar teems with Georgetown and Palisades drop-ins. Beyond that is the bustling, softly lit dining room. Read Full Article
100 Best Restaurants, 2006, Washingtonian Magazine
The real value of this sleek and hugely successful fish emporium? It's many things to many people. Start with the fish market, where pristine if pricey seafood glistens on ice (and where, if you ask, they'll even clean those white South Carolina shrimp for you). Or head to the convivial raw bar for a plate of boutique oysters, a bowl of steamy clam chowder brimming with tender clams and cockles, and a Champagne cocktail. Or go for the full monty - a meal built around seafood in the stylish dining room, where a loyal Palisades and Georgetown following nods its approval. Read Full Article
DC Modern Luxury, July/August 2006
Salt Of The Sea
Close you eyes at BlackSalt and let your taste buds take you back to the beach
Mussels are the forgotten shellfish. Neither glamorous like lobster nor exotic like diver scallops, the are sold rather inexpensively in three pound sacks at supermarkets for a quick and easy dinner at home. In restaurants, mussels are often an afterthought: improperly stored, sloppily cleaned and clumsily cooked.
Not at BlackSalt. The mussels here come from Casca Bay in Maine, and they are farmed by the Bouchot method, which uses poles instead of ropes to attract their prey and results in smaller, plumper shellfish. Chef Joseph Zumpano treats them with respect, cooking them so that the juicy meat pulls away from the shell as it opens. He dresses them for travel, too, with variations from Brussels (steamed in Chimay ale), Spain(saffron, romesco and chorizo), Chile (tomato, chickpeas, olives and cumin) or Thailand ( coconut milk, kaffir lime, ginger, red chili and basil), as well as a traditional marinere preparation. You could order a bowl of mussels each night of the work week and never get bored.
Which explains much of the appeal of BlackSalt, in the Palisades neighborhood of Northwest DC. You can forage here, enjoying a "small plate" of braised octopus or as many grilled sardines as you please for a snack on the way home or to a party. You con slurp raw oysters or revel in gloriously fried Ipswich clams that taste as though thy were snug in the sands of the Massachusetts North Shore just hours earlier. So good you can almost ignore the delicious curried aioli and peppery Spanish romesco sauces the come alongside. A bowl of mussels makes a light dinner, or a hearty seafood stew (there are three variations) a more substantial one...
In Palisades, the Blacks did good research on their affluent, well-traveled neighbors, and they've created a restaurant where retired Foreign Service officers, television news correspondents or Georgetown University surgeons on professors can sample flavors from around the world, perhaps reliving some past journeys. It's close enough to Chain Bridge to be a draw for McLean socialites, and right on MacArthur Boulevard to attract Bethesdans heading home or wine lovers stocking up at Addy Bassin's wine store next door. The lunch menu includes a delicious, modernized pan bagnat that will leave you unable to utter the words "tuna sandwich" ever again, and Sunday brunch is a recent addition. The front of the house is a fish market, where neighbors who did not call ahead for a reservation can purchase a tuna filet or swordfish steak to cook at home. The market does not seem to be busy, and the space could be put to better use with more tables for the restaurant. And no wonder-with cooking this skillful in the kitchen at BlackSalt, the tempation is to stay...
The Hill June 8, 2006
FOOD AND DRINK
BlackSalt: Piscatorial perfection in the Palisades
By: Albert Eisele
In a city replete with top-notch seafood restaurants - think Kinkead's, Oceanaire, McCormick & Schmick's, Legal Sea Foods, Pesce, Acadianna - and discriminating diners who demand the best from Neptune's locker, Jeff and Barbara Black must have known they had their work cut out for them when they opened BlackSalt in December 2004. Read Full Article