08 January 2006

Blacksalt

I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Blacksalt restaurant over the last year and have always been tempted to check it out. Boris and I had dinner there Friday night and it was excellent. The restaurant is really nice and well designed with a modern look to it. Definitely make reservations if you go. The place was packed and even though we had reservations we still had to wait about 15 minutes to get our table.

As we were waiting for our table, I was debating whether to order wine, but I saw someone get a cosmo that was the perfect shade of pink (I knew that it would be good). So I quickly got me a cosmo. It was excellent. They used some vodka I’ve never heard of before, but it added a nice aftertaste to the drink (Boris said it tasted like paint-remover).

There are a lot of options on the menu: tapas, appetizers, salads, small entrée plates, and big entrée plates. For appetizers we got wood roasted shiitake mushrooms and Vietnamese mussels. The mushrooms were amazing. They had the perfect mix of vinegar and oil. I’ve never tasted mushrooms this good. The mussels were also very good. They came with a fermented black beans, cilantro, scallion, mint, and bean paste sauce, but I feel like if mussels are fresh then they can’t be bad. For the entrée I ordered the wild Maryland rockfish with mushrooms and butternut squash and cauliflower puree. Boris got poached pompano (neither one of us has ever heard of this fish before). Both of the fish dishes were well prepared and very yummy.

I was very impressed with Blacksalt – the food was great, the service was great, and the atmosphere was great. My one complaint is the French influence in the food. I don’t like heavy buttery sauces and many of the entrees at Blacksalt came with some sort of creamy sauce. To me that distracts from the fish and overpowers it especially if the fish has a very mild flavor to begin with. (I prefer the California style of cooking.) But don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely go to Blacksalt again especially since they were very accommodating when Boris asked for no butter sauce with his entrée.

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