Dining Out: BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant, Palisades D.C.

Here’s the much belated last posting for Restaurant Week: lunch at Black Salt. It was a meal so delicious that I had it twice in one weekend. I went on Saturday with a friend then on Sunday to celebrate my mother’s retirement.

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Saturday was interesting. They offered us water and I asked for still, not knowing that “still” means “a chilled bottle of clear stuff costing $7”. I consider myself a classy broad, but I draw the line right about there- unless I’m vising Three Mile Island or Mexico, my water can come out of a tap, thankyouverymuch. And really, I’d rather spend that $7 on the food.

Other than that, and the fact that we were wedged between the kitchen and the hall, it was great. Ghina sat facing the kitchen, which had glass doors floor to ceiling, so you could see everything going on. A few times she chuckled and said, “They’re in trouble.” I’d turn and watch something being cleaned up off the floor or whatever. She got lunch and a show.

My entree was “skate” over housemade pasta- I have no idea what skate looks like when it’s swimming, but it was delicious.

So, lunch- very good. The restaurant has an adjoining market, so in some cases you can literally pick out your fish or whathaveyou and they’ll cook it for you right there.

Mom retired at the end of last month and has been kinda hard to pin down for a celebration- she doesn’t like making a fuss about things and hates having other folks control her time, so it was like pulling teeth to get her to agree to lunch and then corral Caro into making some time to join us. I offered up a few places and Mom said, “Sure. Whatever you pick will be fine.” Which is a lie. Love her, but no- if she doesn’t like something she smiles as brightly as possible and then never says another thing about it, which is her way of doing the whole “If you can’t say something nice” bit.

But when I mentioned Black Salt she was enthused, so I asked the hostess on our way out and she said she’d fit us in on Sunday for brunch.

We had to wait a bit, but it was worth it- they seated us in the back room, which had a lower noise level and was clearly the “party room” with a more elegant decor, nicer silverware and tablecloths, etc. And my wonderful, obstreperous, cranky, hard-to-please mother loved it. The brunch menu was different (so I didn’t have the SAME meal), but it was good- Rhode Island calamari (buh?) with chipotle remoulade for a start and Swordfish with farro and mushrooms. Farro is one of those grains I’ve had on my list and I was pleasantly surprised at the slightly nutty flavor, the firm texture, and the way it supported the fish with ease. I finished off with the Chocolate Truffle Chambord Cake for dessert- couldn’t help myself. Their truffle cake is unique in that it’s not too rich, yet perfectly fudgey and delicious.

I have Chambord and chocolate at home… hmmm…

Black Salt
Call for reservations: (202) 342-9101
Not Metro accessible but there is free parking nearby.
http://blacksaltrestaurant.com/

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