Young and Hungry

Mussel Bar Opening Delayed: Celebrate Belgian Independence in the Meantime

musselbar_optMussel Bar, the new Belgian gastropub scheduled to open today in downtown Bethesda today will not be pouring beers or steaming bivalves for the public until next week. The grand opening date is set for Tuesday, July 20, but watch their Facebook page or check back here for updates.

If that breaks your heart, cheer up little Belgophile. Mussel Bar owner Robert Wiedmaier has planned an entire week's worth of opportunities for you to get your Belgian beer (and food) fix. Today he and chefs Bart Vandaele of Belga Café and Claudio Pirollo of Et Voila! are kicking off a week-long celebration to commemorate Belgian National Day, which is on Wednesday, July 21. Full list of events below.

THURSDAY, July 15

  • Beer Dinner at Belgian Ambassador Jan Matthysen's Residence – This exclusive four-course dinner prepared by all three chefs begins with a cocktail reception at 7:00pm and is priced at $175 per person, with profits benefiting a local charity. Brasserie Beck Beer Director Thor Cheston will pour a selection of Belgian beers. Tickets (no doubt sold out by now) are / were available for purchase at each restaurant.

FRIDAY, July 16

  • Belgian Happy Hour – Visit Belga Café, Brasserie Beck and Et Voila! for half-priced Belgian brews on draft during "European" happy hours, which is from 2:00 to 7:00pm. That's five hours of Belgian beer happiness!

SATURDAY, July 17

  • Mussels Throwdown at Belga Café – Chefs Vandaele, Wiedmaier, and Pirollo will publicly compete for the "Master of Mussels" crown. The contest will be judged by some of DC's finest foodies. Call (202) 544-0100 for reservation info. 12:00pm.

SUNDAY, July 18

  • Non-Traditional Waffle Brunches - Each of the Belgian National Day Celebration restaurants will hold brunches featuring "non-traditional" Belgian Waffle dishes. Drop in or call any of the restaurants for reservations.

MONDAY, July 19

  • Mussels from Brussels at Brasserie Beck – Brasserie Beck will feature a special three-course menu highlighting mussel creations from Chefs Vandaele, Wiedmaier and Pirollo. Drop in or call (202) 408-1717 for reservations.

TUESDAY, July 20

  • Belgian Chocolate Fest at Et Voila! – Et Voila! will have a day-long menu featuring chocolate creations and Belgian beers. Hours are 11:30AM to 2:30PM and 5:00 to 10:00PM. Call (202) 237-2300 for details.

WEDNESDAY, July 21

  • Belgian National Day Celebration – Belga Café, Brasserie Beck and Et Voila will celebrate the flavors of the flag as they each create delicious and traditional Belgian fare and pour some of the best Belgian beers. Brasserie Beck will offer a $45 all-you-can-eat-and-drink menu including selected Belgain drafts. Belga will offer Belgian classics like baby gray shrimp, savory waffles and moules frites. Et Voila! will have a three-course menu for $45, which includes a glass rosé. Call each restaurant for additional details.

Brasserie Beck – (202) 408-1717 – 1101 K Street, NW

Et Voila! –  (202) 237-2300 – 5120 MacArthur Boulevard, NW

Belga Café - (202) 544 0100 - 514 8th Street, SE

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  • anna

    Please don't go to this restaurant. Robert personally does not treat this patrons well. We went their excitedly. My husband didn't have his ID with him. We are a couple in our late late thirties and look it. We had our teenage son with us.... Since I had an ID, I ordered the drink and my husband sipped from it. The owner(Robert) started to yell at us as if we were teenage kids trying to get drunk in the middle of our meal. Threatening to throw us out if my husband drank another sip. I understood his policy but come on ...yelling at us...really?
    I was beyond mortified and embarrassed. He is a professional in hospitality business not a thug and should not act like it. I plan on telling everyone about how little he thinks of his patrons. I am also a writer so you can bet this is what's on my mind and where my writing energies will go.
    He is not the only game in town and if you like to be treated with respect please don't patronize this place.

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