Mussel Bar Brunch

I do my best to explore the far-flung regions of the D.C. metro area. And by far flung, I mean anything outside of Logan, Dupont, U Street, or Georgetown. You want me to get on the Metro to brunch? Ugh, fine. It is my professional duty.

Last month, I skipped the Metro and MyTaxi’ed out to Bethesda for brunch, as I had been meaning to try out Robert Wiedmaier’s newish restaurant, Mussel Bar. Wiedmaier is the chef behind Washington’s Belgian mainstay Brasserie Beck. He and his wife opened this restaurant in Bethesda a year or so ago. And, now, there is a second Mussel Bar open in Atlantic City.

Mussel Bar’s menu has plenty of options: mussels and fries, Belgian tarts, omelets, salads, soups, burgers, and brunch items like omelets, bennys, and even chicken and waffles. There was a lemon souffle pancake I really would have liked to sample.

I was joined by two lovely ladies behind the Pink Palm, a local boutique chain that carries primarily Lilly Pulitzer along with a few other bright, preppy brands. But, really, the name of the game is Lilly. (RIP.)

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Laura, or LaLa, a thin, tan, bubbly, preppy and vivacious blonde who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for a little over a year, was brunching with me. And so was her friend Kara, a beautiful, stylish redhead who runs the creative and branding behind the Pink Palm boutiques.

Both dressed in perfectly mix-matched Lilly ensembles, the two of them walked the line perfectly between stylish and kitsch, with their ensembles saying, “I’m in my 20s, beautiful and fun, and I have a big personality,” rather than “I’m a cookie-cutter Southern soccer Mom who plays tennis all day and only owns pastel.”

These girls prove that Lilly can indeed by chic and city girls need not wear only black.

We started with a granola parfait. A creamy Greek yogurt with sweet, crunchy granola and a sweet blueberry compote. It was very sweet, very crunchy, very delicious. Absolutely delicious, in fact. The compote was heavenly and I definitely served myself two helpings.

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Kara had the special of the day, a lobster seafood Benedict. She says, “The Lobster Benedict special was seriously delicious and I definitely need to go back for that again soon. Not only was the lobster top-notch, but the addition of the crab and scallop to the dish really made the whole thing over-the-top tasty.”

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Laura had a delicious Bloody Mary. An expert on Bloody Marys, she’s a Bitch in training. Moreover, a regular at Surfside, which has some of the best Bloodys in town; she knows her brunch booze. This one was spicy and flavorful yet light, and hit the spot. Kara tried a sip or two and definitely agreed.

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For her brunch dish, Laura opted for the beet salad, presented in a lovely fashion. It was served with walnuts, feta, pickled red onions, and a sherry vinaigrette. It was a nice twist on the traditional balsamic and goat cheese salad and tasted healthy, fresh, and delicious.

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As for my brunch entrée, I had the three-egg omelette, made with spinach and gruyere (a reliable combo that is one of my favorites) and served with pomme frites.

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Now, Belgian are known for their French fries, and these were no exception. Served in the traditional Belgian fashion, the frites arrived in an enormous cone with several dipping sauces—perfect for sharing. And, you want to share them, they’re so good yet you don’t want to polish them off yourself!

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The omelet was good, nothing earth shattering. Though, omelets rarely are. It was a reliable brunch dish. But, I ended up eating a lot more of the yogurt and granola.

For dessert, we shared the boozy French toast, served with Grand Marnier maple syrup, fresh whipped cream and balsamic strawberries.

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Both Kara and I dubbed this our favorite dish, as it was such a decadent dish that’s only acceptable for ordering on weekend brunch.

The Bitches say: B+. A yummy, reliable brunch in Bethesda that goes all day Saturday and Sunday. Definitely more fit for foodies than other options in the area.

Mussel Bar
7262 Woodmont Ave.
Bethesda, Md.
(301) 215-7817

Mussel Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

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