Most nights it seems as if half the Valley is here, huddled at the bar for a peaty scotch cocktail or squeezed into a booth for a bowl of fennel-perfumed mussels. Top Chef graduate Antonia Lofaso understands the complex art of drinking food, but her Italian chops are visible in the buxom ricotta gnudi with brown butter and pistachios. The deep-fried fluffernutter sandwich is a sinful reminder that food, like life, should not be taken too seriously.
15 Best Bars: No. 4, July 2012
Is it a stylish cocktail haunt, an earnest gastropub, or a neighborhood bar? Let's say all three. Marble-top tables and an arched brick ceiling give Black Market a rustic, romantic air. The menu leans toward premium snacks like deviled quail eggs and house-made dill potato chips. You don't need to be a mixology expert to decipher the cocktails, which are inventive and carefully prepared. Good tip: For a gluttonous adult riff on a childhood favorite, try the gooey, deep-fried Fluffernutter sandwich.