Veg Dish of the Week: Tomato, Mozzarella, Pesto Panino at Black Market Bistro
The charm of this sandwich, part of the brunch menu at Black Market Bistro in Garrett Park, lies almost exclusively with the ciabatta bread, which is among the best I've sampled (perhaps because it wasn't squashed to death in a press). Its extremely crackly crust gives way to an airy crumb, creating the perfect toothsome environment for almost anything placed between the slices. Too many ciabattas, I find, have the chewiness of shoe leather, which is perhaps only too appropriate for a loaf named after a slipper.
But I stray.
Black Market's kitchen adds the perfect amount of basil pesto to the sandwich — just enough to flavor the bite but not so much to drown the bread in olive oil. The tomatoes, as you might expect, are the weak link, rather bland and mealy, but both the pesto and the fresh, creamy, and stringy mozzarella cover for any sins committed by that out-of-season summer fruit.
I'd suggest pairing that sammie with even more bread: Start with Black Market's pastry basket (pictured below), a small basket of six baked goodies, most notably a lemon scone and a moist, delicious slice of banana bread. Together, they make for a lusty, yeasty, and decidedly non-meaty brunch.