This past weekend I had friends visiting from Pennsylvania who are not particularly fond of the Maryland/DC area, so we needed to show them what great things we have to offer. We spent the day at Great Falls, dodging tourists, catching up and working up our appetite. Then we dodged cars and headed to DC.
Our plans were to bar hop around H Street, NE so it only made sense to eat there too. I found a highly rated restaurant with reasonable prices… Granville Moore’s. They are a Belgian inspired gastropub with a concise menu… a few starters, many sauce options for mussels and two burger choices (either bison or steer). We ordered two appetizers to start us off, mac n cheese and pork belly.
The mac n cheese was made with gnocchi rather than your basic, boring noodle. To say the least, this dish was phenomenal. The sauce was a creamy gouda, not an overly strong stinky cheese or boring traditional flavor. The overall texture was soft, but bread crumbs added a pleasant crunch. The mac n cheese had bits of pork belly and peppercorns (some bites were a little peppery, but he disagreed). ($10)
Our second app was pork belly on a bed of maple infused cheesy grits and topped with a couple boiled cranberries. They really knocked this dish out of the park, it was exquisite. None of us like grits, but the grits added a whole new level to this dish and complimented the pork perfectly. They were thick in texture, similar to paste (but absolutely mouth watering paste). You could taste the smoking process on the outside of the pork belly, while the inside was tender and melted in your mouth. ($12) Our only complaint of these starters was that there was not enough.
The boys ordered the double burger. This was two, four ounce patties separated by a layer of gorganzola cheese filling. Between the bottom bun and patty was bacon, sautéed onions and a spicy ketchup. I think they both may have scraped off the onions. This burger had many different flavors teaming up to make one great taste. Everything complimented itself. It just melted in your mouth. The spicy ketchup packed a punch with the addition of cayenne. The fries were also absolutely amazing. I believe they were hand-cut, which only exemplified the chef’s attention to detail. The fries were seasoned in sea salt and parsley. ($15) For being a place that seems to specialize in mussels, they know how to handle red meat.
The girls went with the mussels. These were large servings of about two pounds per order. Some of these sauces change seasonally. My friend went with the pumpkin curry. She is a big pumpkin fan and thoroughly enjoyed the strong pumpkin that came through. The curry left a subtle kick at the end. These were very good mussels, not too chewy and little if any sand. We each had only found one or two dead ones. ($18)
I ate the pork belly trifecta that night with the two starters and also my dish containing pork belly. I went with the bleu cheese mussels. They were in a standard white wine sauce with bleu cheese. Sopping up the juice with the bread really pushed the bleu cheese flavor out. Onions and spinach were also included, the spinach didn’t add much to the dish for flavor, but gave a nice garnish for presentation. ($18)
Reservations are strongly recommend for a weekend night. It was an hour wait when we arrived, but their were two seats open at the bar. The gentlemen seated us at the bar and they stood in the corner. Surprisingly, a table became available in about 15 minutes. For the place being as busy as it was, the service was great. Our waiter remembered our order perfectly without needing to write it down. Granville Moore’s claims to be some of the best mussels in DC and I would not disagree.