A few years ago J and I visited Brussels and went to this brewery. When we learned that Brasserie Beck was serving up Cantillon Geuze, we knew we had to get over there quickly, but then we got, er, delayed by life.
Geuze? Is that like gauze? The medical stuff? Geuze is a lambic beer aged in oak barrels that has less bitterness than other beers and more of a cider-y taste. The first sip may seem a little sour, but in a good way. It's light and delicious, and was just as I remembered at Brasserie Beck.
While my favorite part of Belgium dining was the beer, frites came in a close second. Beck's crispy frites with fresh parsley were perfectly hot, flavorful, not too salty, and not greasy at all. I wanted more. The trio of mayo that came alongside was fun, our favorite being the tomato mayo. The others were curry and garlic, we deduced.
The saltiness of the veal cheek meatballs in J's pea soup married nicely with the mild green soup. My leek and potato soup was creamy and delicious without ruining my appetite for dinner, and I love how the soups were poured into our bowls from mini copper pots at the table.
The lamb shank was enormous, and very tender--it didn't require much chewing. The accompanying white beans in a light broth was good. Belgian fare is known for its heartiness, and I chose salmon with fennel curry sauce as a lighter option. My nice-sized fillet was hot with a nicely crisped top and a perfectly-done creamy soft inside. The sauce was tasty but not overwhelming at all, and I used it in moderation.
The waffle with flambeed raspberries was good as expected, but the cinnamon honey ice cream it came with was particularly delicious. The creme brulee was all right, a little thinner than I expected and with an inconsistent temperature--some bites were colder than others, and I prefer it at total room temperature or slightly warm.
Our service was friendly but not overbearing, we were seated promptly as per our reservation (unlike at Hook), and the bathrooms get an A+. We'll be back, but not too soon--our gastronomic adventure was a little expansive, thus expensive. It's possible to eat at a little lower price sans drinks, apps, and dessert, but that just wouldn't be as fun. Beer is where this place shines (they have a beer list that's separate from the wine list) and the appetizers/sides may be your favorite part of your meal. Next time I'll have a glass of kriek for dessert.
1101 K St NW
Metro: Orange, Blue, or Red Lines to Metro Center