Saturday, July 21 was the Annual Mussel Throwdown at Capital Yards Park at the Riverfront. This was the last event featured at Taste of Belgium to honor Belgian National Day on July 21st. The event was sponsored by Stella Artois. Despite the rain on Saturday, people lined to taste the delicious mussels that were prepared by each restaurant, while listening to the DJ play top 40 music.
If you have never had mussels, you are missing out. And if you missed the Annual Mussel Throwdown, you missed the opportunity to try some amazing mussel dishes, as well as perfectly prepared frites. My two favorite dishes were Jean Claude Van Dam Those Mussels Are Good by Chef Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore’s and Stella’s Truffle Mussels by Chef Martin Castillo of Belga Café.
Properly prepared mussels will be sort of fluffy and tender without that fishy taste. It is this, how I would describe the The Jean Claude Van Dam Those Mussels are Good. They were delicate in texture and they were just excellent. The mussel juice was drool worthy to drink or dip some white bread in it. It was mixed with unsalted butter, heavy cream, pork stock, D’Avignon sausage, and Belgian Sea Salt. We accompanied the mussels with my new favorite beer, Leffe Blonde. The beer was not too sweet in taste, which I like; amber in color with some fruity notes. It was the perfect pairing to the mussels. The restaurant is located in the H Street Corridor at 1238 H St. NE, should you like to give this dish a try.
The second mussel dish I loved was Stella’s Truffle Mussels by Belga Café. This dish had a bit of kick to it due to the pepper in the sauce. I also loved the strong flavor combination from the bacon mixed with red onion, brunoise, fresh basil and parsley. Dipping that bread into the juice was absolute heaven. Should you like to try this mouth watering dish, Belga café is located on Capitol Hill at 514 8th street SE.