July 31, 2012

Mussels in DC - Part One

Since I became a pescatarian one of my favorite things to have for dinner is mussels. I love how they arrive at the table in a big steaming bowl of broth and crustaceans. I then remove each one individually from its shell before beginning to eat the seafood and dip my bread or frites into the broth.

This year my aunt and I have made it a mission to eat mussels at as many different DC area restaurants as possible. This is part one of our adventure and covers two places - Granville Moore’s and Brasserie Beck.

Our first meal was at Granville Moore’s on H Street. This comfy and rustic restaurant is located on the recently rejuvenated H Street in Northeast DC’s Atlas neighborhood. The menu focuses on pub fare, mussels, and Belgian beer.While ordering I made one good choice and one okay choice. First, I ordered the champagne mussels; then I ordered a glass of Spanish red wine. My aunt ordered the marinare mussels and a glass of sauvignon blanc. All the mussels were fantastic, however, I preferred mine over ones my aunt ordered. Her’s were cooked in a traditional white wine, garlic and herb sauce. Mine had cream broth with mushrooms and crispy artichokes that elevated them to the best mussels I’ve ever had. After eating the mussels, I used my bread to soak up most of the broth. We both agreed the wine was okay, but not memorable. (A glass of wine is normally my beverage of choice. However, at a restaurant that specializes in beer I should have ordered broken my habits for an evening.)

Wine at Granville Moore's

Mussels at Granville Moore's

Next up on our crustacean adventure was Brasserie Beck. This is a more elegant restaurant and it has a lovely sidewalk patio for good weather. (It was a fairly tolerable summer evening by DC standards - 90 - so we decided to sit outside and enjoy the city.) In addition to mussels, frites, and beer, Brasserie Beck has an extensive wine list, and many other Belgian and European food specialities. We both ordered a glass of wine and mussels. Again my aunt ordered the classic white wine mussels and I ordered wild mushroom, truffle cream mushrooms (minus bacon). The mussels at Brasserie Beck were good, but not quite as good as the ones at Granville Moore's. However, the wine at Brasserie Beck was excellent and the bread at this restaurant is wonderful and chewy. (And good bread is important when eating mussels so you can soak up all the steaming broth.)

After our meal we decided to indulge and order a chocolate gateau. It was rich, creamy, and delicious - a lovely end to our meal and part one of our mussel quest.

So far, my favorite mussels are at Granville Moore’s...

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