Monday, December 1, 2008

On Mondays I take trips to the doctor’s house.

Restaurant: Granville Moore’s Belgian Beer and Gastropub
Address: 1238 H St, NE
Metro: It’s a decent walk from Union Station (red line) or you can take the X2 bus from Gallery Place right to their front door.
Genre: Belgian (beer and mussels and fries.)
Cost: $10 mussels on Mondays 5:00-7:00, $16 at all other times though one order will probably be enough for two people.
Rating: 5/5 “Starving Artists”

Eating dinner at Granville Moore’s is like taking an evening vacation to Europe. Open the door and you find yourself instantly transported to a place that is both foreign and familiar. It is our neighborhood joint for a bit of Belgian flare.

Granville Moore’s Frittes, Ales, Moules (1238 H St, NE) is a truly European dining experience. A shining example of the gastropub tradition. The proprietors have converted a historic townhouse (where the original Dr. Moore practiced medicine for more than 50 years, often pro bono, in the mid 1900’s) into a stripped down bar/restaurant with a self described “healthy Belgian fetish”. The bare walls, exposed plaster, and original beams create a warm, intimate feel, where neighbors meet up for a drink or a bite. The food is always excellent, and the rotating menu of over 50 Belgian beers is an attraction in and of itself. Over all, it is the friendly dining experience that makes this one of my favorite spots in DC.

Monday nights have been mussels night in my life lately. Why not start your week with a happy hour special of $10 for chef Teddy Folkman’s signature dish (5:00-7:00 only)? It is definitely a great deal, although when Lady AWesome and I dine here we usually share an order of moules and an order of the frittes, and unless we are famished, that is enough. Even without the special, that is only 22.50 (plus beer, of course) for two people, which definitely ain’t bad.

Of all the Mussel preparations I have tried, the “fromage blue” (blue Cheese, local applewood bacon, shallots, spinach, white wine, lemon) is definitely my favorite. It is this dish that put Food Network’s Bobby Flay to shame on a recent episode of Throwdown. That said, the “biere” and “fungi” versions of the mussel dish are also delicious. As a side dish (or for those of you who don’t eat shellfish [Abs and Gords, I know you are loyal readers and I don’t want to leave you out]) don’t forget to order some of Chef Teddy’s Belgian frittes (fries). The well seasoned pieces of potato are great alone but they also come with a few of GM’s inventive dipping sauces (I strongly recommend the chipotle mayo or the bacon-chive, but again I neglect the kosher folk).

As far as beer goes, I usually ask for recommendations from the bartender. The staff are usually well trained in the types of Belgian beers and they should be able to help you find one you like. A few that I have had recently that were good and reasonably priced were the Bink Blonde in the blonde/golden category, the Blanche de Bruxelles in the wit beers (wheat beers), and the Karmeliet in the tripel category. All were great.

All of this comes together in a restaurant that I have no hesitation in giving a 5 out of 5 on my scale of “Starving Artists”. Both the food and the atmosphere can best be described as hearty. So I guess what I’m saying is that if you haven’t made it to Granville Moore’s in Northeast DC yet, you should get there soon. And if you’re going, give me a call, I’m only a few blocks away and I’ll come meet you. I never need much convincing to pay them a visit. See you there. –20Something.

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