Even though I've never lived in D.C., I've been hearing about Granville Moore's for years. My friend and my brother both moved here around the same time and would never stop talking about this small cavernous restaurant that had amazing mussels and fries. Not only that, but a killer Belgian beer list. It sounds pretty great, doesn't it? During a trip to D.C. in 2011, I was given the choice to eat dinner at Granville Moore's or Some Other Restaurant. Foolishly and regrettably, I picked Some Other Restaurant. Do you know what happens when you choose NOT to eat at Granville Moore's? You and all your friends get food poisoning so bad that you think you're going to die. I was punished for my decision and for years I've been looking for atonement.
I have finally found it.
Six of us headed over to the restaurant with empty stomachs and livers functioning a little too well. What we ordered can only be described as a feast.
We kicked things off with the [symple_highlight color="blue"]Doctor's Wings[/symple_highlight] ($10), dry rubbed and grilled, then topped with the house hot sauce and served with a lime aioli. I'm always a fan of restaurants doing grilled instead of fried wings. These were large, meaty ribs and the sauce was mild but flavorful.
You can't have mussels without [symple_highlight color="blue"]frites[/symple_highlight] ($6) and theirs are terrifically crispy and well seasoned. They have an abundant amount of sauces for the fries: truffle mayo, horseradish, garlic ranch, chipotle mayo, Old Bay ketchup and Dijonnaise. That is also the order of how much I enjoyed them. By the end of the night, I think I was just dipping my fingers straight into the sauces.
For the mussels, we got three types: the [symple_highlight color="blue"]Impala[/symple_highlight], [symple_highlight color="blue"]Marinere[/symple_highlight], and [symple_highlight color="blue"]Pesto[/symple_highlight] ($15 each). The winner of best mussels for the evening was, without a doubt, the Impala. This Southwestern inspired dish had roasted corn, tomatillos, jalapenos, cojita cheese, chorizo, and lime--all things I love. The flavor was spot on. It had smoke, it had spice and it had freshness from the lime and tomatillo. What I really liked was that the spices stuck to the mussels, given them a distinct flavor.
I forgot to take a picture of the Marinere, but they were as good as any version I've had. White wine, garlic and herbs. Simple & classic.
The Pesto mussels came in a walnut-arugula pesto, white wine and cream sauce that tasted like, well, pesto. Sometimes the flavors of pesto can be too assertive for me (especially the always awful pine nut), but these didn't have that issue. It was a well balanced dish that everyone enjoyed, plain and simple.
I'm happy that I've finally made my way to Granville Moore's and that it was as good as everyone had told me. And I didn't even get terrible food poisoning. Win!
1238 H Street NE