Mussels, like sealed envelopes of election returns, can be opened only with steam or a letter opener sharpened on the steps of the state capitol. Set aside your desire to pry with this Groupon.
$25 for $50 Worth of Belgian Cuisine
In addition to orders of mussels ($22) steamed in one of 17 broths, the menu includes flemish beef stew ($21.50) and bacon-wrapped trout ($20) with a saffron-caper sauce.
Bottles populate the menus at Mannequin Pis, advertising the extensive selection of Belgian beers and primarily French wines that lines the dining room's shelves and windowsill. Originally founded by Belgian chef Bernard Dehaene, the restaurant "feels as if it were plucked from a cobblestone street in Brussels" according to the Washingtonian, which awarded Mannequin Pis a spot on its list of the 100 Best Restaurants in 2011.
Although the menu includes pan-seared trout and roasted pork loin, the spotlight is reserved for its mussels. Kilograms of bivalves bask in one of the chefs' 17 signature broths, waiting to be opened by deft hands or sincere compliments in wine- or beer-based mixtures that incorporate bacon, coconut milk, or lobster bisque.