I have written about our wonderful little neighborhood spot SUR LA PLACE (www.surlaplaceindc.com) before, but have not been in ages. Last night we joined friends and took our sons with us as they always love the place as well. It's a cozy spot (although the drafts near the front can be an issue on a cold night when the door opens) with quaint reddish Keith Haring-style wall drawings, nice art and tin ceiling.
While Sur La Place specializes in Belgian Beers and Mussels, the menu is varied and we've never had a bad dish here. Will & Sam go there often when I'm away overnight, and our server, Tula, recognized them as soon as we arrived. Later, she remembered how much they loved the Brussels Sprouts which are superbly seasoned with onions and bacon (and maybe beer?) and sent our a complimentary side dish of them!
Will ordered his KWAK beer which comes in an hourglass-shaped glass supported in a handled wooden stand. It's quite a sight and highly carbonated and higher in alcohol than most beers. I tasted it, and liked it a bit, but stuck to the VIOGNIER Las Perdices 2012 from Mendoza in Argentina, which is a great wine with most of the mussel dishes for sure. Our friend, Kevin, tried the SAXO Blond Belgian beer which is $12.00 a bottle(WOW!) and I have to say not at all to my liking.
The boys ordered STEAK FRITES which Sam gobbled up faster than anyone else at the table could have eaten! He said he liked the Black Peppercorn Sauce on the side much better than the Béarnaise!
Starters included my always favorite and delicious HEARTS of PALM SALAD with baby Spinach, White & Green Asparagus, a thinly sliced Crispy Apple atop and a Citrus Vinaigrette. It is most refreshing and definitely on anyone's diet. AVOCADO COCKTAIL is more like a SEAFOOD Cocktail with avocado! It is loads of Baby Shrimp with bits of Lobster in a huge wide brim glass with Shallots, mixed green and a tasty Brandied Tomato Dressing, which is like a light version of that thick red cocktail sauce used so often with shrimp. Another dish that got high marks was the SMOKED SALMON WRAP which is salmon itself as the wrap around Asparagus and Haricots Verts. These are all pretty good lo-cal dishes as well if you need that! Kevin also said that his starter (ordered as a main course) of the Grilled DUCK PATE with Orange zest on wilted Spinach with a brandied Cherry Sauce was delightful.
While there are many choices for main courses, once comes here for the MUSSELS and we tried three different ones, each with its own superb flavors:
BEBERT is mild with celery, onion, herbs, leeks beer and horseradish and smoked salmon for a punch of flavor and contrast.
If you seek spice head for the RED DEVIL with celery, onions, herbs, tomato, garlic, horseradish, harissa for that punch of spice and beer. I loved my JAMAICAN ISLE which also has celery, onions and herbs but is touched with a dash of Coconut Cream (there is no sweetness or thickness to the dish, just flavor), as well as Curry & Beer. Of course the kilo pots come with a healthy cone of frites which I prefer to dip in the mussel pot sauce rather than the ketchup or mayo that comes as well.
Well after a kilo of mussels, a steak or whatever, dessert is often too much, so we all headed home very full and very happy. How great that this is 3 minutes away!