100 Best Restaurants 2009: Brasserie Beck

No. 61: Brasserie Beck

Cuisine: Rich Belgian fare—beer braises, root vegetables, and bacon-studded stews—served in herculean portions.

Mood: Vintage train-station touches conjure the romance of backpacking through Europe, while the squished-together tables can make it feel as though you’re actually on a Eurorail train. The open kitchen glows, giving the high-ceilinged room a warm feel.

Best for: Enjoying mussels and fries at the lively bar, a happy hour with colleagues, or a sit-down dinner with friends.

Best dishes: Poached egg and toasted baguette atop a garlicky mushroom sauce and spaetzle; golden fries with a trio of mayos; lush pea soup with veal-cheek meatballs; hand-ground lamb sausage with lentils; coq au vin with large bits of good bacon.

Insider tips: You might be tempted to drink Delirium Tremens or Stella Artois, but beer director Bill Catron has been knighted by a Belgian beer guild, so here’s your chance to branch out and try rare varieties—some found nowhere else in this country.

Service: ••½

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate to expensive.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.