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Moules and Frites Courtesy of the Dr.

January 3, 2009

Dr. Granville Moore’s
1238 H St. N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002
Nearest Metro: Union Station

Recently I was presented with the option of dining at Granville Moore’s for dinner. Granville Moore’s is known for their Belgian-inspired pub fare featuring moules (mussels) and frites (fries) along with an extensive Belgian beer menu. European Pub Food + Belgian Beer = No Brainer, so it was off to Granville Moore’s with a few friends.

The restaurant itself gives off an excellent vibe. It is set in a townhouse that is dimly lit with dark wood and exposed brick walls. To me the interior of Granville Moore’s honestly did evoke the feeling of a cozy, authentic neighborhood European pub untouched by corporate sterility. The vibe alone would compel me to pop into Granville Moore’s for a beer when in the neighborhood.

Another impressive aspect of Granville Moore’s is their extensive Belgian beer menu. At any given time the beer menu features over 60 Belgian varieties by the bottle and 4 Belgian beers on tap. I would not hesitate to ask the wait staff about the many different beers. I have read mixed reviews of the wait staff, but I found our waitress to be knowledgeable, pleasant, and enthusiastic. I took the opportunity to try a Belgian white beer I had never had before.

On to the food, and unfortunately some lows. As I’ve stated before in a previous review, the frites at the now closed Les Halles (D.C.) are the best that I’ve had in this city. I would have to say that I still stand by that statement even after trying the hand-cut and twice fried frites of Granville Moore’s. The frites were not as crisp as I would have liked them to be. My friend and fellow diner, B.Y., who has spent time in Belgium commented that the frites weren’t truly Belgian style. The dips that accompany the frites are quite good, and I’d recommend the BBQ or the malt vinegar. I was however disappointed that the large order of frites only came with two dips, with additional dips costing an additional fee. I know that at Brasserie Beck (whose frites I preferred), the frites are served with three dips.

The mussels at Granville Moore’s have received plenty of praise and attained quite the following, evidenced by their being featured on the Food Network show, Throwdown With Bobby Flay (check out Bobby Flay’s take on mussels here). Granville Moore’s uses rope grown Prince Edward Island mussels and the restaurant rotates various preparations throughout the year. A special on the night I dined there was mussels prepared with duck confit and sausage. While I did not order mussels, I did sample my friend K.T.’s mussels prepared with white wine, herbs, and butter. The broth was excellent, however there was far too little to really enjoy soaking up the delicious goodness with bread. Additionally, I found some of the mussels to be undercooked.

For my entree I ordered the skirt steak special with mushrooms. While the skirt steak was good enough, it was nothing memorable. A couple of friends ordered the bison burger and they commented on how they enjoyed it.

I came away with the conclusion that to truly enjoy Granville Moore’s the mussels and frites must be ordered. Hopefully, I caught the kitchen on an off night where there was too little of the delicious broth and some undercooked mussels.

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