Really Excellent Fish
I visited DC today for lunch with a friend at Blacksalt, over in the Palisades area on Macarthur Blvd. (It’s usually pretty easy to get in and out of this neighborhood, and parking is a snap.) We really enjoyed the sparkling fresh fish. We shared a bunch of great stuff–fried clams with curry mayo, fried Rhode Island calamari with a spicy dip, a watercress salad with cumin vinaigrette, and a Provencal style stew packed with all kinds of great stuff.
This place reminded me of how satisfying simple food prepared well can be. The stew was a particularly good example: I loved the way they put fresh spinach leaves in the bowl and then wilted them by putting the hot broth on top of them. This meant they still had some texture, and they didn’t ooze green into the broth. I loved the grilled bread with aioli that came on top of my serving. And the mussels, shrimp, calamari and chunks of fish were inspiring in their perfection.
There’s also a fish market in the place, so I picked up some mussels and some shrimp to make dinner with for tonight. (It’s been a very seafoody day in the LoE universe.) I’d expound on the fish market, but you’re better off going and reading this post at the French Laundry at Home blog to get the 411.
I will say that this was the first time I ever bought mussels and got home to discover they were all still alive. Not a single open shell in the batch. AWESOME.