Tonight my most awesome boyfriend took me out for a fun dinner (diet month be damned! I had to celebrate not drinking coffee for a week.) Not wanting to change out of our work casual clothing of jeans and Josh Ritter shirts, I took at look at my 2011 Restaurant Goals and decided to mark something off the list.

An easy choice. Brabo Tasting Room is a place I’ve tried to go to twice already. Contrary to the name, it’s not the fancier side-restaurant, but a casual, walk-in seating that serves flatbread pizza, mussels, salads, and sandwiches.

Indian Tomato Curry, Toasted Almonds & Coconut

Clearly this is a place to go if you like mussels.  They were everything I love–fresh mussels, a rich, delicious sauce, and great atmosphere. I’d been on the lookout for a new mussel place closer than H street, and Brabo met the challenge nicely.

The atmosphere is casual upscale. We felt fine in jeans, but more people were dressed up nicer (after work or on dates?). There is a wood burning oven right when you walk in, and the tiny dining room gives off the feel like you just snuck into Martha Stewart’s kitchen.

I was a little concerned because Chris had never tried traditional mussels, so we ordered a safe mix of the Curried Mussels, a Pork Belly Flatbread that was AMAZING (the crust..yum. this place knows how to make delicious bread), and a Slow Roasted Angus Beef Sandwich. The good news was that Chris like mussels, and couldn’t stop eating the bread and sauce mixture. The bad news was that the sandwich, when compared to the flatbread and mussels, just did not live up to the hype of the rest of the menu. It was nice—but just no where near the quality the other items we had.

Chris’s sandwich…I think he was already jealous of the mussels in front of me. THEY CAME IN A SKILLET!

Go Here If: you like mussels, fancy beers, or a fun drinks and snacks dinner with friends.
Avoid: sandwiches—stick to charcuterie, mussels, and the flatbreads.
Perfect For: date night or girls night. Unless you want the mussels, there aren’t many ‘big dinner’ type items on the menu.