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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thing 118: Dr. Granville Moore's

I swear, even before the 'sphere was blowing up with mentions of Granville Moore's, I had made a reservation to go there. Then next thing I knew, everyone was buzzing about Teddy Folkman's solid ass-whupping of Bobby Flay on the food network. And I was scheduled to try those prize winning moules that week! Lucky, lucky me!

Lucky is right. This place is amazing. In fact, if you can arrive at the place (I recommend the 90 or X2), you will be so so glad you ventured to Northeast.

First of all, there are seven dipping sauces for the frites.

Seven. Dipping. Sauces.

I'm gonna let that sink in.

Are you still there? Or are you running not walking to H St, NE? My favorites were the truffle aioli, the horseradish cream and the mango curry. But that is not to say the pesto mayonnaise, mustard seed, garlic ranch and smokey BBQ sauces were bad. They were all very, very good. Our party of six demolished two very large baskets of frites-as-vehicles for sauces in an embarrassingly short amount of time.

Truffle aioli, I dream about you still.

Anyway, all the food was really good. I had the prize-winning bleu cheese, shallots, bacon and spinach mussels. All those things are basically my favorite things in the world, in one big bowl. The best part was when bacon and blue cheese made it into the shell with the mussel, and I could take a bite that was all of them at once. I also got to try my companions' pesto mussels and beer mussels. I think I might have liked the beer broth even better than my own, and I sopped as much up as I could with bread, while still maintaining my signature lady-like restraint and decorum.

Moving on from the food, the beer selection at this place was amazing, too. I think all the beers we sampled were great, but the real hero here was our waitress. Although technically not what you might call a 'good' waitress (she forgot stuff, dropped stuff, and put in at least one order wrong), she was so very friendly and helpful, she nailed every single beer recommendation we asked of her. And we really put her to the test. From the generic ("I like lager") to the specific ("Not hoppy, but bitter and dark") to the apple/oranges variety ("If I tell you I like bold and spicy wines, what kind of beer will I like?"), our waitress was able to recommend a suitable beer for every request. And she doesn't even like beer! She was amazing.

They even have a section of lambic beers, which is what we ended up ordering for dessert. I got a peach one and a couple other people got cherry flavors. Sour and sweet at once, these beers were the perfect cap to a Belgian evening.

The restaurant itself is located on block that is a hipster-island off the coast of Trinidad, on H St, NE, which historically had been a vibrant commercial center back in the days that DC was segregated. It was one of the areas of the city that burned in '68, and while 14th Street and U Street are well on their way now to bouncing back and becoming fully gentrified, H Street has been a bit slower to come around. For whatever reason though, that block is home to such hipster hangout favorites as the Rock n' Roll Hotel, the Red and the Black and the Palace of Wonders.

Granville Moore's is a converted townhouse, which used to be the offices of a local Doctor...Dr. Granville Moore (aha!). It's still homey feeling, with this really neat turret coming off the top floor, and lots of unfinished wood and stone. It was pretty lively when we arrived (still at happy hour), but had calmed down by the time we left (several courses and rounds later).

I still haven't seen the official 'throwdown' episode with Bobby Flay, but I think it's fair to say -- believe the hype. This place is delicious, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and I'd like to bathe in the mango curry sauce. If that can't win a throwdown, I don't know what could.