Belga has been a favorite haunt since we our mov to DC in 2004. It has been and continues to be one of our favorites on the Hill. I’m typically a creature of habit with my pre-dinner ritual – generally a martini of some sort. I have been expanding my horizons lately; I have been trying bourbon and rye-based cocktails of late. Started the dining experience with a Sazerac – a nice bourbon-based cocktail with Absinthe, bitters, a sugar cube and a twist of orange.
Even though we’ve been coming to Belga for over 10 years, it took me many years to get past the notion of ordering waffles for anything other than dessert (thanks in large part to an awesome meal we had at B Too during restaurant week). For my appetizer I chose an extremely well-executed savory waffle stuffed with crab cake, garnished with cracked king crab legs and drizzled with a savory saffron yuzu sauce.
I’ve been a die hard fan of the moule fritte at Belga. More often than not, I’ve chosen the traditional white wine and shallot preparation. Throwing caution to the wind, I opted for the mussels diabolique . This preparation had a nice blend of flavors and textures – mussels, calamari, mushrooms,and cilantro. Enough heat to be interesting, but not overbearing. It paired very nicely with a Sancerre they serve by the glass.
For dessert we shared a trio of crème brûlée for dessert. The pistachio yielded the most dense and complex flavors of the trio. The tapioca added an interesting contrast of textures to the first of the trio. Interestingly, the strawberry had more of a mousse consistency than custard. All three were excellent and paired nicely with Grand Marnier.