100 Best Restaurants 2008: Brasserie Beck
No. 36: Brasserie Beck
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
100 Best Restaurants 2013 Best Breakfasts 2012 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Brasserie Beck
Address: 1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-408-1717
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, Belgian, Breakfast
Opening Hours: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Mt. Vernon Square/7th St.-Convention Center, McPherson Square
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Lamb sausage with lentils; pea soup with veal-cheek meatballs; frites with three mayos; mushrooms and spaetzle with a poached egg; coq au vin; snails; black-currant-and-fig clafoutis.

Cuisine: At chef Robert Wiedmaier’s second restaurant, the supper-club elegance of Marcel’s gives way to the earthiness of traditional and contemporary Belgian cooking, with its preponderance of hearty, bacony stews, its affinity for beer-spiked sauces, and its pile-it-on tendencies.

Mood: A showpiece kitchen—check out the copper pots—and gorgeous raw bar dominate the high-ceilinged space, which both evokes the train stations of Europe and re-creates the convivial spirit of the newer bistros of Brussels.

Best for: Fall and winter dining, when the big portions and the richness of the food, particularly preparations of game, leave you feeling primed for the hunt.

Best dishes: Braised rabbit with a sauce of its own juices fortified with kriek (cherry) beer; a classic coq au vin, heavy on the bacon; an elegant brandade made from real cod; a lush steak tartare; a quiche Lorraine so full of ham that it seems more Lorraine than quiche; a satiny pea soup with veal-cheek meatballs; hand-ground lamb sausage with lentils.

Insider tips: One of the most extensive selections of Belgian beers outside of Brussels, presided over by a “beer sommelier,” means that wine takes a back seat here. Given the number of sweet beers on offer—including the terrific Floris apple—and the large portions, it might make sense to finish with a brew instead of a dessert.

Service: ••½

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews