In a new District dining trend, popular chefs are opening casual bistros to complement their higher-end counterparts; now Robert Wiedmaier of Marcel’s has the Belgian cuisine of Brasserie Beck. With a large, open, industrial-chic interior, the restaurant still has a bit to learn. The leek-potato soup could be confused with the rim of a margarita glass, but don’t miss the scrumptious spinach salad with bacon and blue cheese. The crispy skate wing soars, yet other fish entrees are as exciting as the National Postal Museum. Try to track down the “beer specialist” to help sort through a beer menu that rivals Brickskeller’s (except these beers are actually in stock.) Make sure to stay for dessert—the Belgian bread pudding is as warm and cozy as the womb.
For: Slow-paced service that allows you to enjoy plenty of Belgian beers and fries.
Entrees: $17-$24. 202.408.1717. 1101 K St, NW
Originally in the Onion / DC local edition / June 28, 2007
Photo: Heather Freeman Media & Public Relations, LLC
My wife and I went to Beck on a whim on July 3rd, and we were very pleased with what they’ve got going on.
With a 10PM reservation we didn’t go all out, but we enjoyed our beers and our meals enough to put it on the “worth going back” list. My wife had the duck breast which she absolutely loved. It was served with a slightly sweet couscous that complemented it well.
I had the Choucroute “en Croute.” Although the name basically means “sauerkraut in puff pastry,” the highlight of the dish is house-made white sausage. It is served in the aforementioned “croute” with the pickled cabbage, a boiled egg, and sliced pork. Somehow, despite all the ingredients, it was a bit bland. But the sausage was wonderful and the puff pastry was perfectly done. It was served with a lightly dressed side of watercress.
And although we didn’t have desserts (it was already 11:15 at this point), we can attest to the WONDERFUL coffee service. My coffee was served in an individual press, with the plunger depressed tableside by our waiter. My wife’s cappuccino was also delicious, with a full head of frothed milk served in one of the coffee presses without the plunger apparatus.
We had a great experience with the service. Our waiter, Joe, was a real help as we navigated the beer menu, and he was terrific throughout the meal. On our next visit, I would go out of my way to request a table in his section.
Next time, we’re definitely trying the mussels and frites.
brickskellers never has any of the beers on the list.
and the national postal museum rocks!
In a twist of fate, I ended up going to lunch here today. Total coincidence, people grabbed me on the way out the door. When the firm pays, I ain’t sayin’ no.
I’ve been before for dinner and enjoyed it. The beer specialist, who I think has some fancy name, was tremendous. Picked out a perfect beer to complement my fish.
Today at lunch I just had the prosciutto sandwich, which to my delight came with a side of fries. LOVE their fries.
Did you hit them on a good day? Or did I hit them on a really bad one? The service was atrocious, at one point we were joking about jumping on our chairs & waving our arms to get service. This, after waiting for 30 minutes to be seated WITH reservations. The mussels were nice and large, but as bland as anything I’ve had in ages. My bf had the oysters, which tasted like the ocean, and not in a good way. The beer selections were great. But there are plenty of other places with good beer – this is not going on my destination list just for that.
I hear you. Our waitress was good enough, I’m not one to harp on service unless they are offensive. But I agree on the food, I thought it was just ok. Well, compared to some other places and for the price, it was just ok.
The beer list would make me try it again for dinner though, I was very impressed by it.
But for food, I would rather eat nearby at Corduroy.
To compare apples to apples, I would have to say that the food at Central definitely trumps the food at Beck. But I must have lucked out on service – I can’t think of more than a handful of times when I’ve received better, and I don’t know that I can think of more than one at this price point.
I live off of H Street, NE, and I’m eager to see how Granville Moore’s compares when it opens up in the next week or so. This is going to be the first real restaurant place in the new “Atlas District,” and they’re shooting for a Belga Cafe / Beck type menu. Their chef has a pretty good pedigree, as well, coming from Nora, Ardeo and (early in his career) French Laundry.
Gansie and I are hitting up Central next week. Very excited for that.
The lobster burger is hard to beat – a bigger version of the one that’s almost always on the tasting menu at Citronelle. My wife had it and was quite pleased. I had the 72-hour braised short ribs and, while they were truly melt-in-your-mouth tasty, I still think she may have out-ordered me.
Save room for dessert, if you can. That’s really where Michel Richard’s creativity shines. I can personally attest to the great taste of the “kit kat bar” (I’m almost positive that was what they called it, copyright infringement be damned).
Just went there for the first time a couple weeks ago. Like a total girl, I ordered the Framboise beer (I think that’s what it’s called…or raspberry lambic) and it was deeeee-licious. Also had the kwak and one of their monastery brewed beers. Didn’t realize how high the alcohol proof was, though, and got totally loaded off three beers. Btw, Matthew is the best waiter/beer expert EVER.
I don’t think that I have ever seen a better beer list. The beer guy at Beck’s is uber knoledgeable and I just don’t think that Moores can compete. Plus the Atlas district is as ghetto as it gets……