It's a testament to Blacksalt's seafood that the tony fish market in front detracts in no way from the ambience (or smell) of the tony restaurant in back. Rather, locals eat here because they buy their fish here, and know it's quite simply the freshest in town. The low-lit, quietly polished restaurant is a vision of white tablecloths and ladies in pearls, alive with the clatter of forks and shells. Whatever your favorite fish dish, you'll find it here, from sautéed Maine diver scallops with pancetta to slablike bigeye tuna steaks to spicy, soupy seafood stews from around the globe. The menu invites tasting and sharing, with smaller dishes like squid-ink risotto and fried Ipswich clams enlivened by the unexpected: a squirt of Madras aioli, a dab of tomato chutney, slivers of blood orange. At the unpretentious raw bar, well-dressed regulars sip oysters like wine.
Tip: Sunday brunch swings with live jazz—reserve by midweek, at latest.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.