Mussels.jpgLast night I walked around downtown DC and worked my way towards another delicious dinner, recommended by Everyday Sarah Jane.

St Arnold’s Mussel Bar on Jefferson Street was my final destination and it was worth the walk. I arrived at a great, but small basement bar. There was a line out the door but the one benefit of eating alone is getting to skip the long line, and be seated immediately.

Though there are other delights on their menu I was always going to have mussels, it Pilsner.jpgwas just a matter of choosing what flavor to go with. In the end I chose to have the House Specialty, forgoing the Thai curry mussels and the Mexican inspired mussels. The specialty is Mussels St. Arnold’s – Mussels cooked in a house beer sauce with caramelized shallot, garlic and thyme and finally… wait for it…duck fat! Seriously, who cooks mussels in duck fat!

After ordering my mussels, my beer arrived. They have a fantastic selection of beers to choose from and I am sure if J. was here we would have made a night of it. When i say we, imean me and J. would get me home… Traveling alone I settled for a single beer, a Bavik pilsner. Yum!

Frites and bread.jpgThe mussels arrived accompanied by frites and bread… Carbs, seafood and duck fat – I was in heaven!

The frites were crunchy and perfectly cooked, not too oily. Dunking the bread into the beer sauce seemed incredibly decadent. The mussels themselves were perfect. The steaming cast iron pot was filled with plump juicy mussels, all open, which I think is the mark of a good seafood restaurant.

The broth was sweet and savory at the same time. Not oily or fatty at all. If I hadn’t Duck fat broth.jpgbeen bursting by the end of the meal I would have asked for the broth to go and had it as soup today. So deliciously good. They were some of the best mussels I’ve ever had.

It was a good thing I had a 2 mile hike back to the hotel to work dinner off. Thank you fellow bloggers, we’re two for two on restaurants! Being seated quickly also meant I got happy hour food prices with the mussels and frites costing less than $10!!!! Love it.

Friday night I am going to try Founding Farmers, I wasn’t able to get a reservation but thought I might try walking in, even though it is incredibly popular. I have a back up if necessary. Wish me luck!

  1. […] go back to this place – I actually would go back to DC just for a lunch here and a dinner at St. Arnolds. My DC trip was great both professionally and culinary! I ate great food that had been recommended […]

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  3. raleroy says:

    I love St. Arnold’s! We went there for lunch when we spent our anniversary in town. It came highly recommended, for a reason. Glad you got to try it.

  4. shellsea8 says:

    St Arnold’s is great, glad you got a chance to go! Out of curiousity, what was your Founding Farmers backup plan? It’s delicious but so tough to get in sometimes!

    • I ended up going to a little Italian place on 11th and M called Tortinos. It was close to my hotel and had great Yelp reviews. I was pretty happy with it. I also managed to squeeze in a lunch at Zataniya before flying out of DC.

  5. NativeNM says:

    Going to DC next month, St. Arnolds sounds like a “must try”!

  6. loren24250 says:

    Interesting about the duck fat. I’m wondering if it’s actually a fairly small amount, which is used as the fat for sauteeing the shallots and garlic, because there is also beer in the sauce. When we do mussels at home, my wife sautees the shallots or onions in butter before adding a few good glugs of white wine, sometimes with Pernod for flavour. Anyway, now we’ll have to try the duck fat idea. (Here in southwest France, this is Duck Country.)

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