January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants
Comments () | Published January 24, 2007
100 Best Restaurants (2011)

Mannequin Pis
Address: 18064 Georgia Avenue, Olney, MD 20832
Phone: 301-570-4800
Neighborhood: Olney
Cuisines: Belgian
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 5 to 9:30, Friday and Saturday 5 to 10:30, Sunday 11 to 2 (brunch) and 5 to 10:30.
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes homey carbonnade (Flemish beer-braised beef stew); rump steak and fries; roast chicken; seasonal game specials.

No. 69: Mannequin Pis

A Belgian chef opens a mussel-centric bistro deep in the Maryland suburbs that becomes a hit. Years later he sells the place to a young woman from Bangladesh (her family owns Bombay Gaylord in Silver Spring) who hangs on to the second and third in command, brothers from Peru.

Devotees were right to wonder whether the new trio was capable of turning out the heartfelt Belgian fare that made the place worth the trip. So far, so good. The dining room still exudes a beer-kitsch-gone-mod feel, and on Olney Theatre nights, it’s packed.

Mussels (15 versions) with frites and beer (60 varieties) still rule—the classic mussels marinière and the poulette with cream should be your targets. The greatest hits of Belgian cuisine—from carbonnade, a beer-infused beef stew, to creamy seafood waterzooi—are as intensely flavorful and rich as ever. If anything’s changed, it may be the plating, which at times seems haphazard, and the quality of the desserts: A pot-au-chocolat eats more like a ganache than the silky custard of years past.
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Posted at 02:24 PM/ET, 01/24/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews