Monday, February 18, 2008


We walked into BlackSalt through one of two doors that are only a few feet apart. It wasn't immediately clear that we had walked through the right door because we walked into the fish market portion of the restaurant. The seafood was fully on display on a bed of shaved ice. Several times while we were having a drink at the bar I noticed kitchen staff walking to the market for a patron's dinner.

Something that was immediately apparent when we walked into BlackSalt was that it is filled with regulars. Given its location in the Palisades far from most public transportation that is not surprising. Several groups welcomed each other and there were approximately 5 people sitting by themselves eating at the bar, all of whom seemed to know the bartenders.

Though we didn't sit until about 25 minutes after our 9pm reservation the service was excellent. Our waiter seemed almost overzealous, seemingly staying at the table a few beats longer than he should have. I started with the tuna tartare which was unlike any tartare I had before. It was served on a crispy rice that was just a little crispy on the outside and warm enough that it went perfectly with the coolness of the tartare. The soy-anise sauce provided a nice flavor to tie it all together. My main course of Cataplana seafood stew was a beautiful medley of the Portugese fish, baby clams, mussels, and braised pork in a saffron-tomato broth. The borth gave the stew the perfect amount of spice and after getting my face as close to the borth as possible I couldn't believe none of it ended up on my shirt.

The real treat came during dessert though. The three of us decided on two desserts: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with carmelized bananas and pieces of peanu brittle stuck in the top of the cake. An excellent dessert no doubt but it was completely overshadowed by the Butterscotch Pot de Creme. I had never heard of this dessert but the three of us attacked it like it was our last meal. The bottom was a layer of butterscotch, topped by a layer of fudge, topped by vanilla ice cream and a scotched milkshake. Overally a wonderful meal though I don't know if we'll find our way back there.