Last night I ate at Brasserie Beck in DC. I love their Classic White Wine Moules Frites, but I wanted to try something new, so I ordered the Fennel and Chorizo Moules instead (top left). Apparently this is a very popular choice. Well, just fyi, if you like chorizo, you should order this. It's a little spicy, which I liked. But there was SO MUCH sausage - like, probably twice as many pieces of sausage as mussels. It was a little overwhelming. Also, for me it wasn't the chorizo that was calling me to order this dish, it was the fennel. And that's where I was disappointed. I did not get even one taste of fennel in the entire pan of mussels. In fact, I'm not really sure there was any fennel. The tiny pieces of pale veggie I found resembled celery, which tells me either it was celery, or it was the stalk of the fennel and not the bulb, which... really, what is the point? I will stick to the classic white wine next time.
My dining partner ordered the Moules a la Irwin Mushroom with bacon and truffle (to left). He had tried them before and decided to stick with a favorite.
The frites as usual were awesome, although salted a little heavy handedly, and the mayo trio featured their delicious curry mayo. The middle mayo, the tomato brandy one - I'm not sure who eats that one, because at least at our table it's always the one that's still almost full when we're done eating.
For a starter we ordered a half dozen raw oysters, a mix of East and West coast, and they were very delicious. I'm a cocktail sauce on oyster girl myself. We also shared the Slow-Roasted Beet salad which is served with a delectably creamy whipped goat cheese and caramelized walnuts. We had this salad last time and were just as happy with it last night.
For dessert we followed the waiter's suggestion of trying their special dessert, "strawberry shortcake." I'm putting that in quotes because it wasn't strawberry shortcake. It was some sort of panna cotta served with biscuits with duck fat. The biscuits were good, a little heavy, but this dessert just wasn't strawberry shortcake. When I think of SS, I think of a light and refreshing dessert, (even with cream or ice cream.) This just left me feeling heavy and regret for not ordering the Pear Tarte Tatin, the Bread Pudding, the Waffle with Strawberry Compote, or pretty much any other dessert that was on the menu.
Bottom line - go there and eat their awesome mussels and fries, and try their beers (we had the Antigoon Double Blond Ale with the mussels last night - good choice).