Sunday, May 06, 2007

make it the mussels at MANNEQUIN PIS (Olney, MD)

Dearest Foodies,

I am remiss and a week behind in this important posting on THE bistro in the burbs, so please accept my apologies and enjoy reading. We had been to MANNEQUIN PIS before, but it is now even better and a great place to dine pre-theater if you are headed to Olney, Maryland...or just for the 30 minute jaunt from downtown. Located at 18064 Georgia Ave( this Belgian Bistro is a real treat for so far out of town, but don't go for the decor or the raunchy art on the walls, go for the food! You won't adore the drop ceiling, the not so comfy wicker and wood chairs or the small tables, but you will go home full and happy.

I started with the soup special a CHILLED PEA and LOBSTER which had an entire claw and a half a dapple of sour cream and some caviar to boot. A bargain at under $10, rich and creamy and filling. Will went for the ESCARGOTS en CROUTE which he liked and opted for a Belgian beer or two. He chose URTHEL and DUVEL both of which he liked (the latter having a quick yeast finish). I started with a superb Rose 2005 from Domaine du Aint-Antoine (from the Pays du Gard) which was perfect with the soup and went on to a RENE MURE PINOT GRIS 2004 which is their house wine and is ideal with the mussels.

We split an order of WILD BOAR & CRANBERRY SAUSAGE (they have an entire sausage menu) which we chose to come with the Sour Crout. It was not huge, but a nice in-between course amuse of sorts.

MUSSELS were on the menu for our main course although they have many other items. All the mussels come in gigantic cast iron kilo pots. I chose the mussel special of the day prepared with HORSERADISH, CREAM, GARLIC, HERBS & WHITE WINE. It was perfect, with the horseradish intensity only really being in the bottom of the pot when you mopped up the sauce. Will chose the "Bruxelles" (each type has a name) which features CELERY, ONION, HERBS, BACON, GOAT CHEESE & BEER. If we had to complain about anything, it would be that there were too many onions in both dish, which we simply avoided by not eating them or putting them in the shell repository (the upside down top of each steamer!).

Dessert could probably be avoided, although the French press coffee is very nice. We tried the CAFE GLACEE (spelled Glasse on the menu) which is basically an icy coffee parfait, but it did come with some nice mini chocolate chip to the theater!