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Brasserie Beck

Becks_kitchen I love places with beer lists, because I don't know anything about beer and there's always something new to learn. In my four trips to Brasserie Beck, I've learned a few things. First, Belgian beer rocks, each beer has a special oddly-shaped glass to be served in, a gueuze goes great with oysters, and Chimay is pronounced she-may (I'm looking forward to learning more in my future trips). Brasserie Beck is beer snob heaven. The very bright and very crowded bar (unless you get there before 6) is a haven for people looking to relax after a long day at the office. It's understandable why it's such a popular happy hour spot, but it's not just the beer you should go to Brasserie Beck for -- hell, you just might also want to eat some food.

Mussels_and_frites_2 I'd recommend both the leek and potato and pea and veal meatball soups. A sinful liver parfait I'll never tell my doctor I ate is going to be hard not to order again and the oysters are amazing. On my last trip we had Olympia and Stellar Bar oysters. Please, I beg you, don't order the Stellar Bays if they have them because I want them all to myself!

The mussels are for true mussel lovers. If you like the little tiny mussels that other places serve, don't be surprised when you get a plate of the giant meaty mussels at Becks. They come with a bowl of skinny, parsley-coated frites and a trio of flavored mayonnaises.  This dish is a meal on its own and a steal at $17.

Roasted_rabbit_leg_beck With the entrée selections a Brasserie Beck you can take a lighter approach or continue your gluttonous descent. On the lighter side, the curry salmon, with its milky yellow curry sauce, could've used some heat, but still very tasty and was one of my favorites. On the richer side, the lamb shank is falling-off-the-bone tender, but the rabbit is my favorite dish of all with meat that was probably the most tender of any meat I've ever eaten. Those of you that won't eat rabbit because it's a cute little animal don't know what you're missing. I found the entrées to be a very good value given the generous portions.

I've had mixed experiences with the desserts, but that's usually the case with me. The pear tarte tatin I thought was too buttery and came off greasy which is not exactly what I'm looking for in a dessert after a large meal. The caramel cheesecake, on the other hand, was just what I love in a cheesecake - moist but not runny, cakey but not dry.  I like that the caramel sauce was applied with a light touch too.

Belgian_beer_on_draft_beck Overall though, I wouldn't say that Brasserie Beck serves food that's amazingly better than other good French (or Belgian) bistros like Bistro du Coin, Bistro Lepic, or Montmartre, but what I think makes it stand apart is the service. Each time we were there the service was very good and the servers, bus persons and expediters all were very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. On your way to your table there won't be a single person that you pass working for the restaurant that won't smile and say hello. The pacing of the food can be a bit slow, but there are worse things that can happen.

Brasserie Beck
1101 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

(202) 408-1717
web site

Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Valet is $7 but has a tendency to back up. There isn't much street parking in the area but sometimes you're lucky enough to find a spot.
Smoking: Not Allowed.
Closest Metro: Metro Center, McPherson Square, Mt. Vernon Square
Reservations: Taken and recommended.
Baby-Child friendly rating: 3 diapers. Plenty of high chairs and they have a nice way of seating you in the back room with your child which is better for you and everyone else.


Heather B.

Wow. Perfect timing. I'm actually going there on Wednesday.

Thanks, Jason!


My wife and I went to Beck on a whim on Tuesday night, and we were also 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.

I can echo your positive experiences 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.

If Granville Moore's (the new Belgian place opening within the month on H Street, NE) is even remotely like this, we may be seeing the beginning of the next phase in H Street's revitalization. Here's hoping!


Jason, How does it compare to Belga?


You know, I can't really say. I've only been to Belga once and I can't compare the two based on the one trip.


ohhh I can't wait to go. is there an area of the restaurant you would or wouldn't recommend sitting in (sans kid)? Thanks!


I just went here recently as well. I had the cheese course and the duck. I wish I could rave, but the duck wasn't a stellar dish. I tasted a bit from my friends' dishes - and they had much better luck than I did. And unfortunately, I can't stand beer. So I guess part of this restaurant's appeal is lost on me.

I should check the archives before asking this, but have you been to Hook yet? If not, go, go, go! It was one of the best I've ever been to...


Chimay's are very tasty, and you can frequently find them at Trader Joe's for much less than you can find them elsewhere, though Whole Foods also often has them if that's what you really want.


I've been a few times with friends. We always share an order of mussels and gobble up the fries immediately. I've tried all 3 varieties of the mussels. The classic garlic and parsley is a little bland but the fennel and chorizo is full of rich flavor complimenting the natural brine of the mussels.

One dish that stands out is the pork tenderloin. Inevitably, someone at my table will order this and I am instantly jealous. The sweet mustard and red wine reduction lend a smooth and rich flavor to the pork, which just melts in your mouth. Try it!


I can't wait to go. I went to Belgium last summer and fell in love with perfect mussels and tasty beers, only to miss them sorely the next time I ordered mussels back home.

I'll be super girly and get kriek or another fruity lambic!


And I see you discovered the Kasteel, one of our household favorites. 12% alcohol in a beer, gotta love it. Their brown is really good as well.


LOL. Yes. That one DID kick my ass.

Dean- DC Social Circles Group

I agree with Cory about the pork tenderloins standing. It's just delish.... :)


We just went there for lunch today based on your review and were extremely pleased! We did't get to sample the beer, since my husband had to return to the office, but the food and service was outstanding. I had the mussels with wine sauce and hubby had the duck. For desert we had the fantastic bread pudding. Yum! Thanks for the hot tip.


I attempted to go for dinner as I heard great things about. But, they screwed up my reservation and weren't very accommodating.


I am saddened to say this, but their restaurant service was lacking courtesy and the reservations person who handles large groups was truly rude and raised her voice at me. Naturally that made me reconsider dining with them. They had inconsistent policies on cancellation as well as reservations. Too bad some people trash a nice place. Perhaps the owner will make a note of this.


i was home in DC for the holidays and went to Brasserie Beck for dinner one night (on 12/21). i LOVED it. the team waiting on us was absolutely flawless, and the food --amazing! cheers!


Well I wish I could say that we loved the place, but alas I cannot.

The waiter did not make sure that the staff brought out the correct food. He did not even ask us how our food was, I guess he knew.

I would love to say we were seated (with a reservation for five) without feeling like sardines. But I cannot.

The rabbit was overcooked.
They mixed up our order 3 Times, from appetizers to dessert.

What a sad comment on the changing of a place once a few good reviews come out.. Don't bother to eat there unless you are just going for a bear and to sit at the VERY noisy bar. For the prices and reviews I was very disappointed and would not recommend.


The beer selection is outstanding. The food is pedestrian - nothing to rave about. There are much better food choices around town (Bistro du coin does a much better job). But is you want to experience new Belgian beers (a world class treat) this is it.


Oh yes, I would add that the host/hostess people are consistently rude in seating anyone. You are doing them a service by being there to await their judgment -- not the other way around. Other wait staff, not much better. Management: not sure how you instilled such hostility among the folks you hired, but would suggest you undo it.


maybe it's because I'm always there on the early side, but I've never witnessed the rude service that others talk about here. Host/Hostesses are always courteous and service is very good...

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