Great New Restaurants 2010: Mussel Bar
25 places that are making the Washington dining scene better than ever
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published September 30, 2010

Mussel Bar
Address: 7262 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-215-7817
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: French, Belgian, Breakfast
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday 11 AM to 11:30 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: N/A
Reservations: Not Accepted
Best Dishes Smoked-salmon salad; tarte flambée with pork belly and mussels; roast-lamb sandwich with goat cheese; pasta Bolognese; lobster roll; curried cauliflower.
Price Details: Starters $7.50 to $22, main courses $12 to $28.

This cacophonous insta-hit from chef Robert Wiedmaier feels like a cross between a sports bar and an Old World Belgian drinking den. Flat-screen TVs hang over rough-hewn wood furniture, empty wine bottles stuck into roof beams create a light fixture, and beer is taken as seriously as food. Wiedmaier has borrowed some of his other properties’ greatest hits: steamed mussels from Brasserie Beck, tartes flambées from the Tasting Room, and a beef-and-Chimay-cheese sandwich from the Butcher’s Block. The list of preparations for steamed bivalves is long, with inspiration from Thailand (spicy green curry), France (tomato, garlic, capers, basil), and a creative Belgian/Maryland mash-up of Chimay beer and Old Bay.

Don’t miss: Beet salad; lobster roll; mussels gratin; curried cauliflower; sweet-potato fries.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 09/30/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews