Show Your Mussels

Mussels. They are healthy, they are inexpensive, and they are delicious. Is it any wonder that New Yorkers have gone crazy for the stuff? From restaurants featuring obscure preparations to menus entirely devoted to mussels, these small, creamy shellfish are taking over NYC. The only issue New Yorkers take with it is when the pot of mussels empties and they have to order another.

Vandaag, a highly acclaimed Danish restaurant in the East Village, is known for its innovative take on traditional Danish flavors. Though the menu changes often and seasonally, the Mussels steamed in Mead and Green Garlic with Garlic Toasts are one of the most popular and delicious options on the menu. Mead is sweeter than beer, but with that aggressive yeastiness that compliments the sweet, meaty mollusks so well. The garlic is pungent but not overpowering or abrasive, just a bright and clean flavor that brings another level to the dish.

BXL Café takes a traditional spin on mussels. This casual eatery focuses on all things Belgian, including a plethora of beers and styles of mussels.  Sunday and Monday nights offer all-you-can-eat mussels for just $20, in preparations like Mariniere, Provencale, and Marocaine. Blogger Tasty Eating especially favors the Grand Mere preparation with bacon, cream and onions. Apparently, “[…]the 2 lbs of mussels were juicy and fresh[…]The residual sauce was delicious.”

Flex Mussels is a mussel lover’s dream. The restaurant focuses entirely on this sweet mollusk, with 23 preparations on the menu. The Thai Mussels comes with a broth rich with coconut milk that contrasts with the floral lemongrass and that punchy, assertive taste of cilantro. Bight lime made the flavor of the mussels pop, bringing out their salinity next to their naturally creamy texture and mild taste. The Fra Diavolo preparation features sweet San Marzano Tomatoes, fresh basil, the burn of red pepper flakes, and loads of spicy, biting garlic. The broth’s incredible savory, sweet, and spicy taste that only tomatoes can give is punched up with the taste of those mild, gently oceanic mussels.

 

Sources:
Hungry. (2011, July 26). Tuesday nights: BXL café. Retrieved from http://tasty-eating.blogspot.com/2011/07/tuesday-nights-bxl-cafe.html  (2011, November 12).