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BlackSalt Restaurant and Fishmarket


zoramargolis
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Finally got to BlackSalt last night for dinner (9 pm res) and had an enjoyable meal. The restaurant was bustling when we arrived and we started with a nice glass of wine at the bar while our table was being prepared. We decided to order 2 small plates and 2 apps while we decided what to have for our main course. We asked our waiter if this would be a problem, and he said it was fine and that the 2 small plates would arrive first and then the apps. Well the apps came out first, followed a little bit later by our small plates. Not a huge problem, but I would have been happier without having all 4 plates on the table at once. Also our waiter told us that everything on the menu was wonderful and that all of our selections were perfect. Overall the service was acceptable and what I expected.

The small plates that we ordered were the white anchovy and baby octopus. The appetizers were the rock fish cheeks and foie gras and a market special tuna ceviche with lime aioli and avocado. The anchovies, as previously mentioned were wonderful and by far the best of the 4 plates. The rock fish and foie gras combined well with the pureed and crispy potato that they were served with. The next 2 dishes were disappointing. The baby octopus was on the tough side and tasted predominately of lemon zest. I do not recall the exact preparation at this time, but remember looking back at the menu to see what else this dish was supposed to be in the dish as I could not taste much of anything else. The tuna ceviche was not what I expected and I dubbed this dish, tuna nachos. On the plate were 3 corn tortilla chips, resting on some greens, which were topped with avocado, lime aioli, a piece of tuna, and finally a piece of pink grapefruit. The wonderfully fresh tuna, which I sampled a piece of by itself, was completely overwhelmed by the lime aioli. I felt like I was eating a chips and dip.

For our entrees I had the herb crusted long fin tuna with mushroom risotto while my friend had the bourride. The tuna was cooked on the rare side of the medium rare that I ordered it and was delicious. The spices on the fish, the earthy taste and creamy texture of the mushroom risotto complimented each other wonderfully. The tuna was also served with some greens and topped with pieces of pink grapefruit and some black olives, which seem to be a favorite condiment. The dish was also served with I braved the potential scallop health hazard and tried of piece of fish (that was far away from the scallop :raz: ) from the bourride. I really enjoyed the delicate licorice flavor and creamy texture with the piece of fish.

For dessert we shared a piece of the chocolate peanut crunch cake (or something closely fitting that description), that we were told was the pastry chef’s signature dish. It was a wonderful way to finish the meal and I recommend trying it.

The total bill for dinner with 2 glasses of wine and tea was $132 and I was pleased with my meal and look forward to returning and trying some more of the dishes on the menu. I still think it has a little way to go before it can be compared to the top restaurants in the area.

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Jenrus and I went for lunch yesterday and had a very nice meal. I liked walking in through the fish market and seeing some of the thing I knew I was going to be buying on the way out. And smelling the fresh seafood - no funky odors here - made me excited about what was ahead. Past the market is the dining room with a modern, fairly spartan decor. The lunch menu reminded me a little in style of Johnny's Half Shell.

Although the huge platter of glistening oysters at the next table really turned my head, we ended up with a very fresh butter lettuce, pear, walnut, and gorganzola salad, the fried Ipswich clams, the Oyster Po'Boy with thin little house-made potato chips (I agree with an earlier post that the oh-so-delicate batter on both the Oysters and the clams was a little on the salty side, but still very tasty edited to add - I just realized that comment was on Chowhound) and a sugar cane shrimp with a citrus glaze on mixed greens. Dessert was an OK Chocolate Hazelnut cake and the best Hot Chocolate I've ever sipped with house-made marshmallows and two plump sugar cookies. Aside from the cake, and the slightly heavy hand with the salt, everything was well done. Even the basic bread was warm and crusty and chewy.

Unfortunately, service was all over the map, with several waiters working out table, but none of them being on top of everything. But that certainly wasn't enough to detract from a nice afternoon meal.

We picked up some awesome looking scallops (dinner tomorrow) and some crabcakes on the way out. See this post on the dinner thread to see how the crabcakes turned out.

Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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I am going to BlackSalt for dinner this week for the first time and am very excited about it!

I have been following this thread and trying to figure out how to order. For those who have eaten there, would you recommend going the appetizer, entree, dessert route? Or the try many small plates route (followed by dessert, of course)?

Will definitely report back...

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Anything fried (whole bellied clams, calamari), all mussel dishes especially "Moroccan" which includes preserved lemon and feta cheese-the sauce is unbelievable (Black Salt's Moroccan mussels equal anything I have had in Belgium let alone Mannequin Pis or Bis), clam chowder, Zarzuela (offered as one of three daily stews) Portugeuse (offered occasionally), oyster po'boy (for lunch), Tiramisu (yes, tiramisu) in a Martini glass, her chocolate peanut butter cake was featured in Food & Wine a year or two ago. Most of the small plates are excellent. Most of the main courses are excellent. Because I'm used to the Narrows crab cakes (among others) I've found Black Salt's disappointing. Sugar cane shrimp are very good as is his pate. Oysters are expensive but outstanding. Jeff Black sources the best raw ingredients he can find-bear this in mind when ordering.

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all mussel dishes especially "Moroccan" which includes preserved lemon and feta cheese-the sauce is unbelievable (Black Salt's Moroccan mussels equal anything I have had in Belgium let alone Mannequin Pis or Bis),

Joe, we can respectfully disagree, right? I had this dish last week, and while the mussels were excellent, even outstanding, I found it to be a microcosm of what I've experienced at BlackSalt: very fresh seafood that tends to be well-prepared but ultimately succumbing to heavyhanded saucing. I found the feta cheese in this dish offputting, for example, although I agree with you about the preserved lemon being a wonderful addition. I could go through various examples of strange ingredients in the sauces: a turmeric(?)-laden aioli with the salty bourride which was chock full of superb seafood, a honey-based sauce which overwhelmed and ruined an otherwise decent (but very expensive) opah belly sashimi; but I could also come up with an example of how poorly-prepared seafood ruined an otherwise excellent saucing (the overcooked $31 lobster dish in a wonderfully subtle and elegant sauce which was brought to life by what seemed to be vanilla. I didn't really want to express an opinion on BlackSalt until I had at least one more visit there, but I do think some of this early enthusiasm needs to be kept in check, especially in light of the glaring service problems which will hopefully be resolved in the near future. By the way, there are many positives I've seen at this interesting restaurant as well: a dozen raw oysters went back from the bar to the kitchen, and I watched one of the chefs carefully inspect each-and-every-one before allowing the order to go out to the table. The $4-5 small plates I've tried have all been really good. They have a good, fairly-priced Cotes-du-Rhone rouge (yes, rouge) by the glass that goes well with many items on their menu. My early impression of the desserts is that they are terrific - and what great cookies they have! Let me close by saying that I like BlackSalt very much for what it is, and will happily return in the near future, ordering carefully when I do. It seems to be a fantastic addition to that neighborhood, and one more reason why Washington DC has indeed become a great dining town.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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all mussel dishes especially "Moroccan" which includes preserved lemon and feta cheese-the sauce is unbelievable (Black Salt's Moroccan mussels equal anything I have had in Belgium let alone Mannequin Pis or Bis),

It seems to be a fantastic addition to that neighborhood, and one more reason why Washington DC has indeed become a great dining town.

Cheers,

Rocks.

DonRocks 9.12.05

Vidalia, L'Auberge Chez Francois and Kinkead's mentioned in the same thread: three of the numerous reasons why Washington DC has a national reputation as a second-rate restaurant town.

You coming around on DC? Or just underscoring a disjoint between perception and reality... :laugh:

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Had a good first experience at BlackSalt last night.

First, the atmosphere. I really liked it. I felt it was cozy, yet sleek. Liked the planters of grass on the tables. Liked the raised booths. Liked it.

Our server was very attentive. When two of us told him it was our first time there, he spent a good five minutes explaining the menu to us. Perhaps we did not need so much explaining (but then I had read so much on egullet), but he was very enthusiastic, nonetheless, and we appreciated his interest.

I feel like BlackSalt wants to be the chic, more refined, more worldly sister to Addie's and Blacks. For example, my friend ordered the scallops as an entree. This dish is one I have ordered several times at Blacks. Same components: scallops, whipped potatoes, crawfish, and sauteed spinach. But at BlackSalt, it was presented on a large square plate, each scallop nestled in its own dollop of whipped potatoes, on the side were the crawfish bits and on another side, the sauteed greens. Very pretty presentation.

On to the food. They were out of the sardines. They also did not have the fried calamari on the menu last night. They had another preparation of calamari that did not sound as appealing to me.

I ordered the shitake mushrooms, described by Morela, as well as the ham- wrapped shrimp to start. The ham-wrapped shrimp was the best thing I ate all night. The shrimp were resting on something that for the life of me I could not figure out what it was. Does anyone know? It was white and chopped and tasted delicious. Should have asked our helpful waiter.

I wanted to love the shitakes, as I love mushrooms and loved Morela's description, but I was not in love. They were okay, if a tad rubbery, and didn't have much flavor, to be honest. But maybe I made the mistake of eating the ham-wrapped shrimp at the same time as the flavors there were intense.

As an entree, I ordered the wood-grilled dorado. This was delicious. The fish was so moist and served on creamy polenta and sauteed swiss chard with pine nuts and garlic. I cleaned my plate.

I am sad to report, we did not order dessert, even though they looked phenomenal on the other tables. It was getting late, so we opted out. The tiramisu on another table looked excellent in a big martini glass. Next time, for sure.

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We hit BlackSalt last night for dinner. We'd been in there before to pick up goods from the front counter, but this was our first visit to stay and eat. After getting a ride from the slowest ... cab driver .... ever we arrived 10 minutes late for our res and were punished appropriately by sitting at the bar for a bit and having a half-glass of Reisling. At least it gave me a chance to survey the oysters.

First course was oysters (surprise!); can't remember all the names today even though last night I was saying "I have to remember what these are!!!". There were two smaller varieties from P.E.I. (I think from the "boutique" category) and a premium from British Columbia (Belon). The latter were fantastic and HUGE. Even though I use it sparingly if at all it was nice to see someone get mignonette right. I am surprised at how often places screw such a simple thing up by going too heavy on the vinegar. BlackSalt's rendition was clean with just enough bite.

My gf had the ceviche (nice portion) and we split the roasted shiitakes. I'm firmly in the "Holy crap, those are good mushrooms" camp. Mains were mussels (Addie's style) and grilled line-caught tuna over mushroom risotto alongside sauteed greens. I wanted to try the Moroccan mussels but my gf is not one for sausage and it was her entree, so I guess I will have to wait for next time. Mussels were excellent but nothing super special that I can't duplicate at home. I would have liked to try the other presentations. The tuna itself was probably the best piece of grilled tuna I've ever had. Well, at least the one piece that came out perfectly med. rare. It's partner was a little over-cooked (although in all fairness this could have been due to it's proximity to the residual heat of the risotto). The risotto was actually the star of this dish, chock full of shiitakes, oysters, and a couple more varieties.

Desserts were trio of creme brulee and peanut butter something-or-other pie. I am an absolute sucker for peanut butter something-or-other pies. It was devoured.

Overall I was very pleased. Service was outstanding. I'm looking forward to returning, but this time it will be to the bar for drinks and small plates/apps/oysters/mussels. I really think this is where they shine.

Oh, that and the incredibly fresh and reasonably priced seafood up front. Fan-freakin'-tastic

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Desserts were trio of creme brulee and peanut butter something-or-other pie.  I am an absolute sucker for peanut butter something-or-other pies.  It was devoured.

The bread puddin' and the tiramisu are even better!

...

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Haven't eaten at the restaurant yet, but I went to the BlackSalt market today to get a piece of fish for dinner. My wife and I just finished eating a FABULOUS piece of sea bass. As soon as we finished eating, I said to my wife, "I have to go tell the foodies." This was really a great piece of fish. The best I can remember buying at a market, and certainly better than anything I've gotten from Whole Foods recently.

They had a nice assortment of fish, including some that you almost never see at the Whole Foods (e.g., they had sturgeon and flounder today, but no salmon). The prices were generally reasonable. The sea bass was expensive at $19/pound (I got it anyway because it looked great, and it was), the monkfish was $11/pound, mahi mahi for $12/pound.

For those wondering, I prepared the sea bass in an Indian-style marinade and then threw it on the grill. I'll take some credit as the chef, but the fish was the real star of the meal.

We'll definitely be going back, both to the market and to the restaurant.

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Had dinner at Black Salt Friday night.

We ordered a selection of all the oysters and discovered Sisterpoint oysters,( a variety I had never tasted before and like better than the Malpeque to my surprise.) and the Morrocan mussels to start. I agree with DonR. The feta cheese is a strange addition that did not complement the dish. The preserved lemon did. The mussels were unusually plump and sweet and of very high quality. I liked the dish but I tired of the sauce . A NZ Stoneleigh Reisling went unexpectedly well with it.

My husband ordered the skate confit. The fish itself was very salty. I had made skate earlier this week and it usually has a sweet flesh. This did not and we found the rest of the dish properly made but uninteresting. The wood grilled squid with arugula dressed with Vietnamese chili vinaigrette was superb. The squid rings were tender. Every bite brought out another bit of the flavour mix- citrusy, smoky, a little bit of pepper from the arugula.

The chocolate peanut brittle cake was a delightful mix of tastes and texture-- the chocolate and the brittle. Not very sweet. It is really a deconstructed Snickers bar for adults -- but with a European style. Very successful.

I will definitely go back.

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Joe H. has been organizing dinners for a couple years now. These dinners happen in the spring and autumn, and take place at one of the finer eating establishments in or around the city. Last night he had the Spring Dinner at Black Salt. It was quite in impressive meal. It was a fourteen course marathon, that was heavy on the seafood (not surprising since it is a seafood restaurant). Jeff Black and his team did a superb job with the food, and the service was spot on. So now for the meal:

Fanny Bay Oyster on the half shell with Champagne Shallot Mignonette & American Sturgeon Caviar

The oyster was plump and juicy, but I found that the vinegar in the Mignonette hid too much of the oyster flavor, and the shallots threw off the texture. I have no complaints about the caviar.

Micro Salad with White Anchovy Filet

The greens were fresh and flavorful, the lemon vinaigrette that it was served with was outstanding the anchovy filet was the star of this dish. It was meaty with only a slight hint of fishiness, all in all a great combination.

Ceviche de Jalisco

This was a great dish, but not really what I think of as a ceviche, I think that he was trying for a deconstructed ceviche. It was a presentation of fresh tuna squares with a pepper salad on the side and a key lime vinaigrette drizzled around the plate, but not on the tuna. The flavor combinations worked very well together.

Grilled Baby Octopus with Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette on White Bean Hummus

The octopus was perfectly cooked, and the smokiness of the tomato vinaigrette gave the impression that you were eating a crazy seafood sausage. The white bean hummus was delightfully creamy, but did not bring much flavor wise to the dish.

Black Sesame Crusted Salmon with Carrot Ginger Soup

This was an interesting dish. The salmon was cooked very rare (the only way I like Salmon), and the sesame added an interesting contrast in texture to the soft flesh. I generally do not like carrots on their own, but I liked this soup. Some people complained about the “spiciness” of the raw ginger in the soup, but I thought that it is what brought it to life. The corn shoots in the soups added a nice bit of bitterness to offset the richness of the soup and salmon.

Monk Cheeks

The monk cheeks were perfectly cooked, and served with a great Spanish chorizo and thinly sliced garlic. This was a well executed dish, and the flavors matched perfectly.

Moroccan Mussels

I know that Joe and Don Rocks went round and round about this dish. I liked each of the flavors, did not find that they melded very well together. The disconnect for me was caused by having to remove the mussels from the shell, and trying to get a bit of the parsley, sausage and lemon on the fork with it.

Hudson Valley Foie Gras Three Ways

This was a case of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The Good was a foie torchoun, that was served over a strawberry gastric. The foie melted in your mouth, this is the best way I know to serve this delectable ingredient. The bad was a foie emulsion, almost like a cappuccino, it was not really bad, it was decent, but I never picked up any foie flavor, and since it is part of foie three ways, one should be able to taste the foie. The ugly was a pan seared piece of foie. It was tasty, but a little over cooked, and not as hot as it should have been.

Lobster Ravioli

This was a nice piece of ravioli filled with lobster and served with a sage butter sauce. On its own, I found it a bit boring, but add a piece of the Jambon Serrano that it was served with and the dish came to life. The ham provided a hint of salt, and a needed meatiness to the dish.

Nantucket Bay Scallop Risotto

Another interesting dish. The rice was perfectly al dente, and flavorful. Hidden in the rice amongst the morsels of splendidly cooked bay scallops were fresh fava beans that brought a freshness to the dish.

Intermezzo

A basil pear sorbet with a pear crisp. The sorbet was perfectly executed, it had none of the mealy texture that is common with pears (even pear juice seems to have it), and the pear crisp was a less a crisp and more a pear jerky, but still quite lovely.

Braised Short Ribs & Pepper Crusted Bigeye Tuna

The short ribs were rich, gelatinous and moist, what more could someone ask for from a short rib. The ribs were served with a shallot jus that complimented the ribs perfectly. But the best compliment to the dish was the chewy caramelized shallots. These were almost like a shallot gum, they were stick to your teeth chewy, but were heavenly. The tuna was good, and would have been great on its own, but I do not know why it was on the plate, it seemed to distract from the short ribs. The tuna also had a dab of marrow butter on them, this also was out of place. The presentation of the butter dabbed onto a point of tuna just looked strange, and I did not pick-up much richness from the marrow, only fattiness.

Key Lime Tequila Soup with Coconut Sorbet

This was fabulous. The soup was rich and tangy, and when eaten with some of the coconut it was heaven. I really enjoyed this dish, but while eating this dish that I really thought that I would have liked the flavors to be reversed, a coconut soup with a key lime tequila sorbet.

Orange Chocolate Mouse Bombe, Grand Marnier Truffle, Chocolate dipped Navel Oranges

My least favorite part of the dish was the truffle. The center was still close to frozen, and not the velvety center that I had hopped for, and the shell was too thick. The bombe was good, the contrasting textures of the smooth bombe with a crispy base was a little strange, but good nonetheless. My favorite part of the dish was the orange slice that had been gently poached in simple syrup and then dried to form an almost transparent orange crisp.

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A remarkable thing about this meal was that by the end, I was completely sated, but not over stuffed, as I have felt after other multi-course meals. Each plate had small, but intensely flavorful elements. I do not share Steve's "I didn't like"s about the meal... for me, it was, course after course, perhaps the best meal I have ever been served in a restaurant--including Maestro, IALW and Citronelle.

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There was a three minute ovation from all fifty of us at the end of the dinner. The $120 was a bargain for a dinner on this level. There was also a $15 corkage charge which is extremely reasonable and wine was offered by the glass and from their VERY fairly priced wine list. Approximately 11 of the 14 dishes were not available on their menu. It was an extraordinary dinner that most thought, at a minimum, on par with the Maestro 14 course blowout last February. Based on the dinner last night I honestly and sincerely believe this restaurant is on the level of Maestro, Citronelle and Laboratorio-at their best. My guess is that a number of the dishes will be, over time, introduced onto the nightly menu. Sietsema's review comes out this Sunday. My guess, is that as a new restaurant he'll give Black Salt three stars. Still, as some of these and other dishes are introduced, it will only get even better. I also sincerely wish that he could have experienced last night-he would give it four.

I supplied the violane nano arborio for the risotto, carrying it from Le Calandre, the Michelin three star near Padua. It was perfectly cooked and on par with the risottos I've had there as well as the best of Maestro and Laboratorio.

I think everyone had their own favorites for the dinner. (Mine, respectfully, was the foie gras presentation which I enjoyed more than the superb foie gras risotto at CityZen.) But Jeff Black, Susan, Doug and 20 or so others went all out for a dinner that lived up to my unbelievably excessive hype! (!?!) I cannot thank them enough for the incredible effort, energy and imagination that they put into it. I also thank the fifty who shared this four hour + experience.

As a native born Washingtonian who has seen D. C. slowly rise from very real dining mediocrity, I cannot tell you how proud I am that Black Salt is in D. C. Not San Francisco, not New York, not San Sebastian. But D. C.

Thank you, Jeff Black.

Edited by Joe H (log)
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Zora,

I very much liked the meal, but I would not say that it was perfect, and there was nothing I did not like, just things I did not like as much as I could. I would also like to add that the meal was worth every penny.

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My favorite course, also, was the foie gras three ways. I just love that stuff, and having three different presentations together was heavenly. The real hallmark of the meal was flavor--different textures, colors, temperatures, too, though not out there on the edge like Minibar. Intense flavors: savory, sweet, sour, spicy and the richness of the fish and seafood (and foie gras). If I had not been in polite company, I would have licked the plates to get every last bit of flavor off them. People who prefer plain or bland preparations of fish can find BlackSalt's menu too intense. I say "Delicious!!"

One of my tablemates ate his first raw oyster last night, and pronounced it "really good, not at all what I expected." I stopped eating raw shellfish a number of years ago, due to concerns about contamination. But I know how high quality the oysters are that they get at BlackSalt, and each shucked oyster is checked by one of the chefs who is food safety certified, before it is served. So I ate mine con mucho gusto. I thought the champagne vinegar mignonette added a fresh piquance to the cold, briny Puget Sound oyster. My husband said he could have eaten a dozen of those, and a full plate of the lobster ravioli in sage butter, which came much later in the meal. We didn't do the wine pairing, we brought along a 2003 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre which we shared with our tablemates, and later our 2002 Two Hands Brave Faces grenache-shiraz and their 1999 Tuscan sangiovese, all of which worked nicely. We brought two bottles, but were billed corkage for only one.

What was also quite remarkable was the teamwork of the young staff, who have really just begun working together. Stephen Banker calculated that 14 courses for fifty people was 700 plates-- plated, served, washed and dried for their next use. Jeff Black usually expedites, but he was in the thick of it, working at the grill, the stove and the plating line. There were comfortable pauses between courses-- it moved right along, but did not feel either rushed or sluggish.

I thought it was a brilliant meal.

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I think there is a concern on my part of misinterpreting the reaction to this dinner. There WAS a three minute ovation for the entire kitchen staff at the end. Not ten seconds, not one minute, not two and not polite applause. THREE MINUTES. That speaks for itself. At least 30 of the 50 people there were at the Maestro dinner last year. To the best of my knowledge everyone said this was directly comparable to/on par with/as good as/better than or some verbiage that essentially meant that this was a fantastic dinner using Maestro's special dinner as a standard. Having said all this 11 of the 14 courses are not yet available to the general public but will be introduced over time. Several of these were absolutely spectacular: in particular the Key Lime Tequila coconut with almond nougat, foie gras three ways, the risotto, possibly the sardine and the first course, the oyster with Black Sturgeon caviar. There were at least two courses where all talk in a room full of 50 loud, well into their four glass of wine diners virtually stopped talking while they ate: the foie gras three ways and the Key Lime Tequila coconut. I also know that someone at our table who had never had an oyster in 40 years on earth was coerced by others into tasting it.

She wanted a second.

There are digital photos of each course which I have seen. I believe that Tweaked will post them on his blog and then later on here. In particular the photo of the risotto is superb-it is so clear that you can see each individual kernal of violane nano. Jeff Black nailed the texture on this dish-someone stood at a pan and stirred non stop for 15 minutes to prepare this. Probably two people since there were 50 of us. A true rarity in any restaurant kitchen today, here or in Italy. The chefs on this board know this.

This was a special dinner. Again, very little of this is on Black Salt's menu now, but most of it is coming soon. In the meantime, for those who go, give serious consideration to any soup or stew, anything fried,, oysters and his $80 tasting menu which will itself feature some new dishes and close to 12 courses/tastes.

Edited by Joe H (log)
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I think there is a concern  on my part of misinterpreting the reaction to this dinner.  There WAS a three minute ovation for the entire kitchen staff at the end.  Not ten seconds, not one minute, not two and not polite applause.  THREE MINUTES.  That speaks for itself.  At least 30 of the 50 people there were at the Maestro dinner last year.  To the best of my knowledge everyone said this was directly comparable to/on par with/as good as/better than or some verbiage that essentially meant that this was a fantastic dinner using Maestro's special dinner as a standard.  Having said all this 11 of the 14 courses are not yet available to the general public but will be introduced over time.  Several of these were absolutely spectacular:  in particular the Key Lime Tequila coconut with almond nougat, foie gras three ways, the risotto, possibly the sardine and the first course, the oyster with Black Sturgeon caviar.  There were at least two courses where all talk in a room full of 50 loud, well into their four glass of wine diners virtually stopped talking while they ate:  the foie gras three ways and the Key Lime Tequila coconut.  I also know that someone at our table who had never had an oyster in 40 years on earth was coerced by others into tasting it.

She wanted a second.

But, like most things, food is not a black or white issue. I'm much more interested in hearing about individual successes and failures the way Sthitch described the meal than overall praise saying "everyone thought this was great".

Bill Russell

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I agree which is why I noted the dishes I did. There are also a number of posts about the meal on the other board. For anyone on here that would like to be part of a future dinner, they are unsponsored and I receive nothing for them and no consideration from the restaurants-I pay my and my wife's own way. The restaruants have gone all out for us as Black Salt did. I have about 75 e-mails representing 150-160 different people from the four previous dinners I've arranged (Laboratorio for 14 courses including truffles twice, Maestro and Black Salt). I do it biannually. Anyone interested send me your e-mail to wwthrills@aol.com and I will copy you in the Fall when I am putting the next dinner together which, more than likely, will be a Fall blowout at the Lab, possibly a dinner at Charleston but this last is premature to really mention.

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