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“Seafood to perfection...”

BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant
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Ranked #67 of 3,326 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
Cross street: V Street NW
Description: BlackSalt is the much anticipated concept restaurant from Chef Jeff Black, featuring an upscale fish market fronting a vibrant bar and elegant restaurant.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Our early Saturday evening table was ready for our party of four upon our arrival. The service staff were all quite pleasant and attentive without being overbearing. Once you pass the fish market, cafe, and bar area at the front of BlackSalt, a nicely appointed dining room awaits featuring tables and booths. The tables are close to one another, which offers both a chance to meet your neighbor as well as eyeball their dining choices. If you want privacy, request a booth.

BlackSalt offers a wide variety of libations, from standard cocktails to an interesting mix of specialties (http://www.blacksaltrestaurant.com/bar-menu/specialty-cocktails/). Our favorite was the Congress Avenue, a blend of Tito’s Vodka, Lemon, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, and Absinthe). We'll definitely try a Suzy Q for our next visit.

We opted for a tapas-like meal of various appetizers this evening and were very happy with our choices. Lighty battered, crispy, and full flavored Fried Ipswich Clams were accompanied by a Madras Curry Aioli ($15). House-made Fennel Sausage, Spicy Marinara, and Parmesan cheese smothered the Wood Grilled Baby Octopus ($12). Plump Atlantic Day Boat Scallops were nicely balanced with English Peas, Romesco, and Charred Spring Onion Vinaigrette ($16). There's a reason BlackSalt lends its name to the Oysters Rockefeller - they were the best I've ever had - with a perfect topping of Bacon, Spinach, and Chive Aioli ($9). The winner among winners this evening was definitely the Pacific Butterfish nestled among Maine Lobster and Mango Gastrique ($16) - perfection on a plate!

Dessert was BlackSalt's Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cake featuring a creamy, near cheesecake texture, beautifully presented with Caramelized Bananas, Chocolate Curl, and Peanut Brittle ($11). A three-scoop sampler of House-Made Sorbet ($8) was an ideal closer for our evening.

While this was a pricey meal, the quality of the ingredients, preparation, and presentation stood up to the cost. If you're on a budget, I suggest BlackSalt's happy hour menu, where you can find a less elegant, smaller selection of equal quality for less than half the price. For example, we tried the boutique oysters at our dining room table. There are many varieties to choose. We had the Old Black Salts and they were tasty. At $2.25 per oyster, we could get the same for $1 each if we sat 20-feet away in the cafe area.

Our mile-wide, inch deep dive into the BlackSalt menu was a great experience. Based on our view of the entree choices at neighboring tables, there is much more to explore at BlackSalt. We'll be back for an inch-wide, mile deep plunge next time!

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1  Thank DiscriminatingPalate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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354 - 358 of 578 reviews

Reviewed June 30, 2013

We were in DC for a short vacation and decided to splurge and try the five course tasting menu. It was absolutely delicious and the service was fantastic. Definitely a treat!

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1  Thank Jaimee K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We went to Blacksalt to celebrate our 5th Anniversary and my wife's birthday for dinner. From the get-go it was a winner...we were led into the back room through their "wine cellar". Once seated, we were presented with a special "Happy Anniversary" menu. The wait staff was incredible - attentive, helpful and...here's the kicker....friendly. Looking at a menu filled with great seafood options, it was hard to decide what to eat, until we stretched out of our usual comfort zone and decided upon the 5-course tasting menu with wine pairings. It happened to be the best decision we ever made! Following a free glass of champagne and an amuse bouche of oyster in roe and caviar, we were led through four amazing courses, one cold (amazing sashimi, tuna and salmon), followed by butterfish on a beet salad, then what I can only describe as an amazing fried soft-shell crab with pork belly and vegetables. Dessert, which came out only after a palate cleanser of mango sherbet and fresh berries, consisted of three great dishes, a Chambord chocolate mouse with raspberry coulis, a butterscotch "drink", and something that tasted like strawberry shortcake.

Dishes are well portioned and presented, and the wine pairings were great. Overall, an amazing experience and we will definitely return. This is one of the best meals we've had in Washington, DC, and we've lived here for more than 20 years.

It is a place to splurge, though, it's not an inexpensive meal if you do the tasting menu with wine pairings. But honestly, we've been to other top-notch DC restaurants that are highly rated such as Fiola, where you might spend several hundred dollars on dinner for a tasting menu and frankly left disappointed. And this wasn't one of those experiences. If you're going to spend upwards of $250 for dinner for two, you want it to be great, right?! And this meal in our mind was.

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1  Thank GallopingGu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Dinner with my daughter on a long weekend to DC. We each got an entree and the grilled octopus appetizer. Fantastic.

Wine is expensive. The room was noisy. Service was good if a little abrupt.

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1  Thank jimmyihatetoregister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Have heard plenty about this restaurant – good food, but fancy and expensive. Anyway finally had a chance to go there for a family dinner. It didn't look very big from the outside, inside was long and deep. First you go through the store area with the fish counter which was very impressive looking. There are several dining rooms or sections, and depending on where you are seated you might have a somewhat different feel about the place. We were seated in the very back room, through the wine storage area. Had a round table for our party of 8. The room was small and cozy with relatively low noise level, altogether about 6 tables of varying sizes. Food was good, and portions were generous, I had two appetizers and that was more than enough. Good desserts as well, especially the creme brulee, 3 flavors served in separate little bowls, perfect for sharing. Overall, although expensive, cannot say it was excessively so, pretty much comparable to other similar upscale restaurants. Definitely a good seafood place you can count on.

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1  Thank paxa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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