April 08, 2011

Mussels, Mussels, Mussels

Kari's birthday was this past week and we decided to go out for a bite to eat in the neighborhood.  The place we had decided on had lots of good memories.  It was a very special place to us even though we'd never eaten at this particular restaurant.

You see,  this new place had replaced the hang-out we used to sit at on sunny spring days and warm summer afternoons with the windows fully open allowing patrons inside to lean on the windowsill and people watch.  We had many a good time there but unfortunately as is the case with a majority of restaurants these days,  this one too had fallen on hard times.  It had been bought and sold half a dozen times in the past year,  but this new one seemed promising.

The place serves mussels.  It's what they do...  and they do it well.   We started out her birthday dinner with a dozen raw littlenecks. What they lacked in presentation,  they more than made up for in taste. They were salty and briny like the sea water they had undoubtedly just come out of.  These were without a doubt the best and freshest clams I'd ever had in Brooklyn.  They were amazing.

For dinner we of course had mussels,  but that's where the similarities ended.  She ordered the classic:  white wine, garlic and butter.  I however, not denying the classic is a classic for a reason, decided to go Asian. 
Kaffir Lime leaves, lemongrass, cilantro and fresh lime juice perfumed the steam that floated up from the aromatics infusing the mussels.

We were expecting a small pot of maybe a dozen each, but what arrived at the table was a steaming pot of goodness with no less than two dozen of these little gems inside just waiting to be inhaled.

We happily devoured the entire pot, dunking olive oil slicked bread into the broth.  We couldn't have been happier.  A glass of crisp white wine, a loaf of good bread drizzled with the most fragrant olive oil, mussels and the one you love. Who could ask for anything more?

the aftermath 

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