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.

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurant

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 Petworth.