Cheryl and I don't get out as a couple very often, and Alex was at a friends house for a sleepover, so she decided we should go get dinner and see a movie in Bethesda. We ended up at Mussel Bar.
We started with a beer, some oysters, and the crab dip.
The crab dip was cheezy/spicy with some ale, I'm sure, and something like Old Bay but a little spicier. Pretty tasty. The only change I'd suggest is trying to find a less substantial bread to serve with it. Something lighter and not so filling.
The oysters tasted pretty fresh. I liked their cocktail sauce.
The mussels at Wiedmaier's restaurants are always good. There are only a few places where I'll eat mussels, and Brasserie Beck is one. I didn't hesitate to try them here. The ones I ordered were with mushrooms, pancetta and truffled cream and parm.
The presentation was nice and the dish was very tasty.
Lately in the DC Metro bartenders at all of the top restaurants seem to be picking up their game a bit. Unfortunately, I think they may be a little too focused on the tremendous beer selection they have there.
We had time to kill before the movie so we stayed for an after-dinner drink. I had a Woodford Reserve Manhattan, and it was shaken as shown by the ice froth and ice chips. That's a no-no. The flavor was balanced with sweet vermouth, but the cherry was your standard Maraschino, which should only be served with Shirley Temples and Frozen Strawberry Daquiris. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the places I've been going downtown, but it's what I come to expect when the drinks are $12.00.
To close on a high note though, I can say that the service was very welcoming. I was served by Keifer, who, as it turns out, is related to the owner. He was attentive in the way a friend inviting you over for dinner would be, not stiff and standoffish or over-attentive either. Very gracious and well trained.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment or e-mail with questions.