Not open yet, huh? You can’t hide from me, Wiedmaier. On a hunch we walked by last night even though the website said that the opening was delayed until today and what do you know… Mussel Bar open for business. I’d give you a quick preview of opening night at Mussel Bar here in the first paragraph but drool is both unladylike and doesn’t blog well.
EatMore: A variety of mussel options are the focus (we tried the spicy Indonesian peanut one and the grilled pineapple sweet chile). There are also lots of sandwiches (pork belly!), salads, and pizza-like tart options with just a few entrees. Everything is reasonably priced. The mussels are cooked to perfection and the sauces so perfectly flavorful and fresh that my glasses steamed up with … well … ok fine, steam.
DrinkMore: The beer list was fantastic and only limited by the Orwellian oversight of Montgomery County liquor laws. Lucky for us we were directed to the perfect beer for our tastes by the sommelier. And by sommelier I mean the guy who was knighted in Belgium for his knowledge of beer (not kidding… there was a picture).
The space focuses on a central bar with plenty of stools and chalkboards hanging above displaying drink/food specials. The seating is spacious (tables, booths, hightops, and sidewalk picnic benches) with great views of the open kitchen and phatty TVs showing old concerts. The atmosphere is perfect for the restaurant although I can see this placed packed to the gills for the rest of the summer. You would think if I wanted it all to myself I wouldn’t post about it, but let’s be honest, it will probably take you a few months to get a parking spot nearby.
Our waiter (soon to be oyster cart guy) was very knowledgeable, it seemed as though he had tried most things on the menu. He apologized when they didn’t yet have the special glass for one of our beers and expertly executed the pour specific to another one. Besides the oyster cart, they expect to get more beer (and glasses) on the menu in the future.
In short, the hype was completely lived up to and the attention to detail was well worth the wait. And wait you will, they do not plan to take reservations. Welcome to the neighborhood Mussel Bar … but remember for next time that you can’t pull one over on us at EMDM. We’re always stalking lurking waiting nearby.Mussel Bar 7262 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda 301.215.7817