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“Epic fail at BlackSalt (BS) ....”

BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant
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Ranked #77 of 3,342 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, 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 March 7, 2014

After my initial high excitement at finding one of personal all-time favorite dishes on the BlackSalt (BS) menu - Bouillabaisse! - it quickly came down to an ultimately frustrating and disappointing dining experience! I waited a good 40 minutes for half of a "small' bowl of what can best be described as tasteless, "aspires to be edible", swill. Let me break down this BS restaurant's epic fail by first recognizing that at $31, my worst case expectation would be a large hearty bowl of mostly whitefish of some sort, with ample soup/broth, hot and satisfying! I have had some not-so-great bouillabaisse experiences in the past (I order the dish anytime I see it on a menu!) but none have sunk this low, even at half the price! When this dish finally came out, it was so incredulous that I immediately separated the non-edible components to take inventory! The ingredients in this BS menu debacle (in descending order of predominance by weight of course!) were POTATO, potato, mussel SHELLS, two small pieces of a random BS whitefish, soup/broth (~4oz), "a" medium Scallop, "a" small Prawn w/head, "an" Oyster sans shell (I suspect the absence of oyster's shell was meant to cloak count), and five small mussels! This was the third visit to find a terrible BS portion to cost ratio. Bottom line, after one BS drink, this BS entrée, and a tip (not the servers fault!) - my BS fleecing came to a cool $60, but to my good fortune [and yours too, if you should foolishly dine at this BS property!] there was excellent Chinese take-out across the street!

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1  Thank JAB611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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303 - 307 of 578 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2014

The menu of fresh fish is a delight. Especially good is the fish stew and the daily pasta . The restaurant is fairly accommodating at honoring requests , so if there is a piece of fish at the market up front, you may ask to have that prepared for your meal. The brunch is really delicious , with interesting versions of eggs Benedict and amazing herb biscuits with gravy. Unfortunately , the service is far below the quality of the food and can be slow and inattentive

Thank Alice S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2014

Excellent super fresh seafood cooked perfectly every time. BS is very close to my house so we pop in for lunch at the bar which is dicey as it is packed all the time and you need a reservation. Had anniversary dinner there too and brought out if town friends who are Mainers and lobster experts. Always love it. Great cocktail selection great chef and staff. Open kitchen. Favorite fish tacos at the bar. Favorite salmon at dinner.

Thank Charlotte H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

This was our second trip to BlackSalt for lunch. Our visit was on a Saturday, early afternoon. Be prepared: there is a fish market at the entrance of the restaurant and the smell carries!

The food was very good. I had the best seafood stew that I ever had. My daughter's pasta special was bland to tasteless, my wife enjoyed her crab cakes, and my older daughter thought the cheeseburger perfectly done. We enjoyed our appetizers: calamari, seasonal salad, and sardines. One note: the sardines are rather large and require lots of work to get through the bones (which are also rather large).

The lunch took 90 minutes. The restaurant was not crowded. We were ignored. Not sure if they were understaffed, but it appeared that other tables had similar problems. I was particularly annoyed that they managed to get my check wrong between the time it was given to me and when it was returned after the credit card had been processed. Not even an apology. It took approximately 15 minutes to get out of the restaurant from the time I asked for the check until I could pay the correct check. Tip reflected my feeling about the service.

We may go back, but not if we are in a hurry.

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1  Thank Vulturecap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2014

My husband and I have had the pleasure of enjoying a few lunches at this restaurant over the past few months. The food is always good, well described and we'll presented.The service is comparable. The menu is limited, but for lunch it has proven to be adequate. Having said that, this is by no way a 5 star restaurant and it puzzles me how previous reviewers are so quick with their star ratings. Marcel's in DC and the Inn at Little Washington are worthy of 5 star, which resulted in me providing this restaurant with a 3 star rating. I would struggle to believe that the dinner service would be that much different.

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1  Thank gatormotherof2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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