18064 Georgia Avenue
Olney, MD 20832
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
Noise Level: Chatty
homey carbonnade (Flemish beer-braised beef stew); rump steak and fries; roast chicken; seasonal game specials.
Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.
Except for its setting in a strip mall with a sushi bar and a Mexican takeout, this 11-year-old spot feels as if it were plucked from a cobblestone street in Brussels. The tiny, sunflower-yellow space is plastered with colorful Belgian-beer signs and abstract art, servers bustle between tables, and customers buzz their way through a lengthy brew list.
Although much of the menu is devoted to 17 preparations of steamed mussels, other dishes are worth exploring. The mostly cold-weather fare makes liberal use of butter, cheese, and potatoes, but strong flavors emerge, too. House-made sausages and bacon-wrapped pork loin are good matches for the beer, and the well-versed staff can design a progressive pairing. Best of all, when the bill comes, it feels like a bargain.
Also good: Wild-mushroom fricassee over toasted bread; house-made pheasant sausage with wine-braised sauerkraut; Red Devil mussels, spicy with horseradish and harissa and served with skinny fries; beef stew; bread pudding with raisins and whipped cream.
Open daily for dinner. Moderate.