‘Black’s Bar and Kitchen-10’
‘courtesy of spiggycat‘
Summertime rolls around and if you’re like me and have a kitchen that turns into a sauna from June through September, you want to spend as little time as possible over the stove. That’s not to say that you’re willing to sacrifice having a good meal. After the jump, you’ll find chef Quanta Robinson’s recipe for Malt Mussels with Frites (read: french fries). It’s straightforward and doesn’t take a ton of time to cook. Plus who doesn’t love a brothy bowl of mussels with a good chunk of crusty bread or frites?
‘Black’s Bar and Kitchen-17‘
‘courtesy of spiggycat‘
A lot of people will say that food can open up a whole new world for a person, be it a new world of flavors and ingredients or insight into a foreign culture. Quanta Robinson, executive chef at Black’s Bar and Kitchen in Bethesda, sees it as her job to open people’s minds with cooking.
“It’s rewarding to hear, ‘I would never have tried ‘blank,’ but I did and I liked it,” she says. Quanta says that sometimes it’s as easy as changing the seasoning or the approach to a dish or particular ingredient, in order to get people to try something new (and like it). “I’m horrible with change, so I know it’s hard to break out of a comfort zone,” she jokes. But when a server or a guest at Black’s tells her that they enjoyed a dish they never thought they would, that’s when she can smile and cherish a “small victory.” “A lot of people aren’t chance-y or they’re picky, so it’s about making those people leave happy,” she says.
Known as one of the best happy hours in the northern Metro area, Black’s Bar & Kitchen is situated a few blocks from the Bethesda Metro station. WLDC author Acacia and I were headed to Bethesda to review Menopause the Musical (which you can read all about) and we decided we could make it a double feature – a We Love Arts and a We Love Food, all in one trip. I would recommend you replicate our Bethesda trip, I enjoyed the play, but I will probably look back with even more fondness on our eats.
We stepped into Black’s and basically halted, it was absolutely packed. The interior is sleek, stylish and clean. The bar features two and four-seater booths are built into the back wall with a few free standing tables between the booths and the bar. Large windows look out onto Woodmont Ave. and the patio featuring a small modern pond. We couldn’t find a seat in the bar area, and it was one of those pre-spring days too chilly to sit outside, but we had plenty of time to waste before the show so we decided to wait it out. Soon thereafter a table opened up, but the wait gave us time to survey the crowd. Around 6 p.m., we were bringing down the median age – it was mostly a 35-55 aged crowd, complete with power suits and ties. But by the time we left around 7:15, the average age had lowered considerably, and there were plenty more jeans and after-work twenty-somethings mixed in the crowd.
Black’s is also an oyster bar, with the goods laid out on display when you walk in the door. I was eager to try the seafood, so we grabbed beers and gave our order. Continue reading