I wasn’t going to blog about NYE for 3 reasons: 1) I had been to B-Too before and wasn’t overly excited, 2) I like sleeping…which makes me not like NYE much, and 3) I have my favorite Belgian spots in DC, and felt like going to B-Too was a bit of betrayal, as it didn’t make the list.
But here I am, blogging about NYE and B-Too. And I don’t know which I’m more excited about–that I found another place with excellent mussels (and food, generally), or that I found another place with excellent Belgian beer. Both, I think.
I’m going to start with the beer, because, well, Belgian beer and I are good friends. In fact, it’s one of two big reasons why we just have to get to Belgium asap (that, and Tin Tin). I started with a Chimay Red, an old standby. While delicious, not that exciting. But DH ordered a Troubadour, and I was hooked! It’s a bit on the tart side and has hints of fruit without being fruity. It was absolutely phenomenal. DH ordered a Straffe Hendrik (not on draft, unfortunately)–the quadruple. It’s one of the best beers I’ve had in a long time. So, so tasty. I did not need another beer, otherwise I also would have had one of those…
These beers were not cheap, but hey, it was NYE. And since when is beer ever cheap in DC? Hoping they have a decent happy hour…
The Chef at B-Too was plating food right next to us, which was fun to watch. Portions were large, the plates were expertly composed (you got a perfect bite of each part of the dish), and the flavor combinations were just fantastic. We started with the pork belly, which had the most delicious vintage soy glaze, sour cream, and was garnished with radish. We also tasted the steak tartar and the croquettes–both of which were delicious, though I’d opt for the pork belly again if I had to do it over.
For our main course, we shared the scallops and Brussels mussels. Naturally, the latter had half a lobster in it, too! While I usually prefer a white wine sauce on my mussels of some sort, this had a tomato-based cream broth with cognac that was delicious. The mussels were huge, and there were more than I could eat in a sitting. Which is a lot, because I love my mussels (no pun intended, promise). I was almost too full to eat the lobster, which, buried in the bottom of the mussels was actually not worth digging out because the mussels were SO good!
Now…the scallops were some of the best we’ve had. Pretty much ever. And we order a lot of scallops. They were succulent, perfectly cooked, HUGE, with a perfectly paired mix of creamy celery sauce, fromage blanc, and sautéed spinach (with truffle parsnip!). I can’t say enough good things about them.
I only wish I had more room in my stomach. Because, frites + chive mayo.
So, B-Too was a success. The first time I went was when they had just opened, and I wasn’t impressed by what I ate at the bar. Either they’ve evolved over the last few years or I missed the full food experience by not ordering a main course. But this time we will most definitely be back. All the food that was ordered by our group was spot on (and the dish that wasn’t they promptly replaced). Also, our waitress was amazing–she was Belgian, no less, and from Bruges.
Great food, great company, and great beer = a great NYE.