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BlackSalt Restaurant and Fishmarket


zoramargolis
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It sounds like Kliman and Rocks agree.  I wonder if Tom and Joe H will be in agreement.

Maybe Rocks IS Kliman !! :hmmm:

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Oy.

The 'ratings code' for Tom Sietsema's reviews explains that a rating of two stars signifies the following:

'Good - restaurants with generally appealing cooking, service, and settings; they tend to be worth driving across town for.'

Somehow, I don't think people who read the Washington Post review this Sunday are going to say 'You know, I was going to try that new restaurant, 'Blacksalt', but now that Tom Sietsema says it's good and worth driving across town for - forget it!'

In my humble opinion, I think the Post review is fair and on target.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a native Rhode Islander who has not traveled hundreds of miles for pizza. For gnocchi, maybe. But not for pizza. :cool:)

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I wonder what Thomas Head is going to say , it will be so much fun after his review :biggrin:

but it`ll be muchmuch more fun after his second review of the place , because he will just copy paste the previous year :biggrin::biggrin:

Corduroy

General Manager

1122 Ninth Street, NW

Washington DC 20001

www.corduroydc.com

202 589 0699

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Joe was having trouble uploading images, and so here they are - it looks like an awesome meal, Joe!

[Anyone else asking me to do this will be stabbed! :smile:]

--------------------

1. Fanny Bay oyster on the shell with champagne shallot mignonette and American sturgeon caviar

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2. Boccorone, micro greens, lemon viniagrette.

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3. Ceviche de Jalisco, bigeye tuna, salsa de jalisco, key lime syrup.

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4a. Grilled baby octopus, smoked tomato viniagrette, white bean hummus.

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4b. Close up of dish

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5. Black sesame rare organic salmon, carrot ginger soup, red shiso, corn shoots.

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6. Monk cheeks with chorizo, saffron, tomato, garlic (photo did not turn out).

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7. Moroccan mussels.

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8. Hudson Valley Farms foie gras, three ways.

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9. Lobster ravioli, sage butter, lambs lettuce, jamon de Serrano.

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10. Nantucket bay scallop risotto with Pennsylvania black trumpets, first spring favas.

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11. Braised beef short rib & pepper crusted bigeye tuna, caramelized shallot jus, marrow butter.

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12. Key lime tequila soup with coconut sorbet and almond nougatine (photo didn't turn out as clearly as hoped).

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13. Orange chocolate mousse bomb with Grand Marnier truffle and chocolate dipped naval orange.

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Between Caserta's and Al Forno there was no need.

I must also add that two stars is the same rating given to the restaurant he reviewed last week.  Do you remember it's name?

I do not remember its name.

But, at the risk of being tossed off egullet, I don't necessarily memorize the restaurant name and star rating for every review, even the three and four star ones. :rolleyes:

My point is, I think Mr. Sietsema's review of Blacksalt and the two star rating was fair and - in my opinion -not in any way disrespectful to the owners or the chefs. I'm sure we can agree to disagree about that.

Cheers!

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My wife rarely agrees with any of my opinions.

By the way, all of the photos above are from Martin, aka "Tweaked" who has his own blog. I don't have the website but would welcome him posting it. Thanks, Martin, for supplying these.

Also, for those looking at the photos, please pay particular attention to the risotto. The arborio is the same Alban violane nano that Le Calandre uses. (and Maestro now, too)I hand carried it to Black Salt and Jeff Black nailed it! He and another alternated 15 minutes of continuous stirring in a huge pot for the 50 of us. In the photo you can see each individual kernal of arborio. A rarity anywhere for this type of preparation-THIS is the texture of risotto that rarely shows up on a plate.

Edited by Joe H (log)
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zora -- Not to take away from your praise of the meal, of which looked interesting from the menu, but don't you work at Blacksalt?

I've been a friend of Joe H's and shared meals with him at our homes and at restaurants for several years. I began working at BlackSalt in the fish market when it opened, nine weeks ago. This was the first time I ate dinner there, and I paid full price. I can't deny that my affection for my colleagues didn't color my responses...but I also know how young they all are, except Jeff Black, and how new as a team. And under those circumstances, what they pulled off was extraordinary. Joe's other blowout meals have been at places that have been in business for a long time. This place is just two months old!

I know from good food, and if I hadn't genuinely thought it extraordinary, I would have said nothing.

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But on a board like this or Chowhound where several hundred people might read comments like these (not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands as claimed elsewhere on another board) the success of this or another restaurant does not ride on my perspective or my "spin" to justify it.

Wait a second, so you aren't the PR director for BlackSalt???!?

Just razzing you of course.

Seriously though, I'm curious about this reinvention of tiramisu. What makes this version different from the traditional?

I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don't, send it right back. I want to be on you.

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It's layered in a Martini glass, vaguely similar to, say a B-52 with layers of espresso soaked home made lady fingers, whipped cream, kahlua laced custard.... But the overall effect is visually impressive while the flavor is intense and lasting. Kliman's description of her efforts succeeding in "reinventing" several classic desserts is a very good analogy. This may be her best effort.

This is a Tiramisu that you will not have to apologize for ordering.

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Between Caserta's and Al Forno there was no need.

I must also add that two stars is the same rating given to the restaurant he reviewed last week.  Do you remember it's name?

I do not remember its name.

But, at the risk of being tossed off egullet, I don't necessarily memorize the restaurant name and star rating for every review, even the three and four star ones. :rolleyes:

My point is, I think Mr. Sietsema's review of Blacksalt and the two star rating was fair and - in my opinion -not in any way disrespectful to the owners or the chefs. I'm sure we can agree to disagree about that.

Cheers!

And will we remember what Sietsama reviewed last week on February 27? No one person is going to dictate the success or failure of BlackSalt- not Sietsama, and sorry, but not you either, Joe. If I had read Sietsama's review of BlackSalt without any prior knowledge of the place, I would think that he had given it a good review and would probably put it on my list of places to go. I mean, the man can't fawn over the place- he's a CRITIC, remember? OK- vent over. Thanks.

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I was treated to dinner at BlackSalt last night. The quality of the seafood was incredible. The only times I've had seafood that fresh has been in restaurants right on a coast, where the fish went straight from sea to plate. So it was unfortunate that most of that seafood, which they go to such great lengths to procure (our waiter was telling us a few stories about this), was overwhelmed by the preparations.

Raw Oysters

Might be the best I've ever had-- so damn fresh. One was 'finished with ocean water', though, which was a bad idea-- all you tasted was brine.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Morela's right, these were some of the best mushrooms I've had in a long time. Order these.

Ipswitch Clams

I think my favorite meal of last year was all the fried Ipswitch clams I could eat, courtesy of a former Kinkead's chef. These were even better-- fried absolutely perfectly. However, they were served with a romesco sauce that was very heavy on the smoked pimenton. Dipping the clams in that, you might as well have been eating frozen clam strips for all you could taste of them (I did like the curry aioli that was also served with them, though)

Bourride

The seafood in the bourride (scallops, salmon, monkfish) was amazing, but it was drowned in a very heavy, fairly flavorless cream broth. I plucked out the seafood and left the broth behind, uneaten.

New England Stew

Again, outstanding seafood, including Nantucket Bay scallops. And again, overwhelmed by the too much cream and smoked bacon in the broth.

We had stopped in for dessert at the bar a few weeks ago. As many have mentioned, the desserts here are very elegantly presented and can be delicious (especially the peanut butter pie). I didn't really enjoy the tiramisu we had last night, though-- it tasted like heavy cream and little else (but nice biscotti).

I'll have to give BlackSalt another try soon, especially to try some non-stew entrees. Until then, I'll definitely be shopping at their fish counter.

Chris Sadler

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A friend and I had a delightful dinner at Black Salt last night, the first time there for us. We ordered the tasting menu, which was preceded by some perfectly shucked and perfectly fresh oysters from British Columbia.

Our server and the sommelier were very attentive in helping us build the tasting menu and pair it with a flight of wines. We asked to have seafood only, and were given nine imaginative and varied courses. The undisputed star of the evening was a rockfish sashimi garnished with Asian citrus flavors and--if I'm not mistaken--rice wine vinegar. In preparation, presentation, and tuning of flavor, this dish lived up to the ethereal praise lavished on Black Salt elsewhere in this forum.

Other standouts (though none approached the rockfish) were the baby clams in a light fennel cream sauce and the mussels in Vietnamese flavors with fermented beans. Seared sushi-grade tuna with a crust that tasted like it included Sichuan peppercorns was also excellent. In general it seemed the kitchen did its best work when using Asian flavors.

Lesser lights were the baby octopus in an over-garlicky cream sauce and the lobster in a rather bland cauliflower coulis. These were not bad dishes by any means; in other restaurants they might have been highlights. But they fell short of the heights the kitchen was able to achieve in other dishes.

One obvious thread throughout all the dishes, regardless of preparation, was the absolute freshness and quality of the ingredients, including the garnishes. This alone counts for a great deal, whatever the variations otherwise.

Our sommelier was helpfulness personified, and we felt at ease leaving everything in her able hands. The only wine that disappointed was an anemic New World port (either from Australia or NZ) at the end of the meal that fell far short of the high marks set by the previous wines.

I look forward to returning to Black Salt as the seasons change. This kitchen does marvelous things.

Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

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Can't seem to find a website for this place. Does anyone know what their market's hours are on Sundays? I'm making Bouillabaisse for fifteen peeps and I need the freshest stuff I can find.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Can't seem to find a website for this place. Does anyone know what their market's hours are on Sundays? I'm making Bouillabaisse for fifteen peeps and I need the freshest stuff I can find.

The AOL cityguide says the market is open Sundays noon to 6. I haven't been able to find a web site either, but I have the feeling one won't be lacking for long.

Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

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