Black Finn

[ 4 ] October 13, 2011 |

Honesty is the best policy and that’s why I have to tell you there are some places that I might not have set foot in had it not been for a media event.  This can work to my advantage in some instances where the restaurant really is that bad and I should have never set foot in there in the first place (*sound familiar…). There are the other instances, however, where you visit a spot and find a hidden treasure.  That hidden treasure was what I found in BlackFinn.  After passing this place numerous times up and down the downtown letter I street, my curiosity always made me think “what is that spot about?” but I never ventured in until a recent media event invitation.

BlackFinn Hot Chocolate

I love when I hear that there is a tenured head chef on the team because this means the quality and menu selections are going to maintain the same tone if you visited a restaurant five years ago or today.  Chef Michelle Giroux stands poised with the tenure I admire and has taken her role as head chef for this long standing saloon to a new plateau.  Raising the bar by taking the old with the new, Chef Giroux has put a tailspin on old American classics such Shrimp and Grits and the Brownie Fudge Sundae (*now the BlackFinn Hot Chocolate).  Everyone is using local ingredients but I can really appreciate it when I can take in those fresh ingredients while catching a game on a flat screen at the bar.

Though saloons usually don’t appeal to me unless I’m looking for an inexpensive drink and loud conversation, BlackFinn has upgraded the concept of the typical saloon.

Crab and Artichoke Flatbread

With creativity spilling out in dishes such as the Crab and Artichoke Flatbread (*and I mean extremely flat bread, the thinness of a potato chip literally);

Blackened Brie, Ying-Yang Shrimp & Hummus

the Ying-Yang shrimp (*fried but not? Far from the typical over fried, greasy texture…); and

Shrimp & Grits

the Shrimp and Grits (*which replace the soupy grits with a firm grits cake), BlackFinn is far from your typical saloon fare.  Of course, there are the typical dishes that remind you that this is a classic saloon but its easy to ignore these if your palate yearns for more substantive flavors and diversity.

Impressed and pleased I decided to share with you guys.  The evolution of Black Finn is here and is pulling in the District palate to take notice.

BlackFinn American Saloon on Urbanspoon

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Category: restaurant reviews, Washington D.C.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Comments (4)

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  1. And I love a restaurant with a woman as the head chef. Looks delicious!

  2. L. Denise says:

    I have yet to visit ‘I’, but the Bethesda location is really nice. The chili is sooooOOOOooo good. I’m long overdue for another bowl.

  3. Johnna says:

    Ooo chili sounds right up my alley in this weather…

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