Some pretty tasty mussels Provençal served up with decent frites and a cold Leffe Blonde to wash it down. Oh yeah! Nothing like an impromptu meal discovery. So many different types of dining spots here in NYC hidden down side streets that just turning a corner sometimes exposes one to an unforseen gastronomic delight!
BXL East is a very decent Belgian gastropub located in Midtown that we found after having a few drinks at an Irish pub close by. We walked in after making reservations along the way and were seated at a large table in the back room dining area. Nice menu of food items and beer choices. Plenty of mussels options to choose from with different broths and seasonings. I love Belgian beer, and their brews usually are on the heavier side with a hint of creamy maltiness and higher ABV (alcohol content) with many varieties to choose from. Plus, you can get quite a buzz just by drinking a few!
I found the prices and service to be very acceptable here. Yet, one of my biggest pet peeves are businesses that refuse to crank up the AC when it gets warm outside. This place had me sweating within minutes and it was a good thing they did get it cooled up in here as I was devouring a hot steamy pot of mussels. Seems they read my mind and turned up the AC. I did fully enjoy the meal as the mussels were plentiful, and the pot had a mix of tomatoes, herbs and garlic broth with some veggies mixed in to scoop up at the end, along with a bunch of mussels that had dropped out of their shells. Nothing was being left at the bottom of that pot!
Of course, I dipped in bread that was placed on the table. A lot of it. Damn bread is like crack to me. Might as well soak it all up! Yes, I’m a gluttonous mussel freak. Don’t judge me! If no one would have been aware around me I would have picked up the pot and drank all the remains. Even if it poured all down my shirt. I also noticed that there were a bunch of couples here, so it can be a cool little date spot for after work in midtown NYC. Guys, please don’t pick up the pot and drink it in front of your date, at least not until the 3rd or 4th time out together, as by then it’s all open game.
I do have to also give props to any bar that serves up its beers in the appropriate glasses. As this is a Belgian-centric spot pouring a quality brew such as Chimay, Leffe, and Kwak deserves to be consumed in its correct goblet. It’s a much classier way than pouring it into a generic plain pint glass.
I might have to try this place on a Monday night, as they do an AYCE (all you can eat) deal starting at 4pm – mussels w/frites and one Stella brew for $24. What a deal! I’m bringing my bib next time.
BXL East – http://bxlrestaurants.com/