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Mussel Bar & Grille- Bethesda
Mussel Bar & Grille- Bethesda

Mussel Bar & Grille- Bethesda Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.musselbar.com
  • Phone: (301) 215-7817
  • Hours of Operation: Monday - Thursday: 11:30am – 11:30pm, Friday: 11:30am – 1:00am, Saturday: 10:00am – 1:00am, Sunday: 10:00am – 11:30pm; Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Belgian
  • Executive Chef: Robert Wiedmaier
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Entertainment: We periodically have bands, please check our facebook page or on twitter

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Elm Street
  • Public Transit: Bethesda Metro, short 3 block walk
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: The closest public parking is the covered garage right behind Mussel Bar (accessible from either Elm St. or Bethesda Ave.) Parking meters in front of the restaurant are for only one hour. Bethesda Row is offering valet parking nightly from 5-11pm across the street in front of Secolari (7251 Woodmont Avenue).
A word from Mussel Bar & Grille- Bethesda
We serve mussels & frites, wood-fired tarts (Belgian pizzas) with seasonal toppings, grilled meats and fish, salads, soups, sandwiches. As your server about our daily specials, we mix it up! We also have the largest selection of craft and Belgian beers in Bethesda! Happy hour daily with great specials and $1 oysters.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Diner Reviews
  • "The Tom Sietsema review of Mussel Bar said it was very loud, but we went this past Sat. and the noise level was energetic but not too loud - granted, it was the Sat. of 4th of July weekend. The tuna tartare appetizer was delicious, very subtly flavored and my Mediterranean mussels were nice and good-sized though not as plump as I'd hoped (but I am a snob having grown up in Maine). The sauce was quite spicy which I like, laced with harissa, the chorizo sausage slices could have been a little bigger but that's a quibble. The ice creams that I had were ok but didn't strike me as amazingly flavored - I had the strawberry, mascarpone with berries, and cinnamon. The server, Steve, was terrific - very efficient and friendly!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "It was lovely - good selection of mussel dishes. Sweet potato fries are awesome! Loved teh spicy ketchup and Old Bay Mayo"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "The place seems to have lost its popularity. Perhaps because the atmosphere is sort of dingy and the mussels are over-priced; so is the beer. The mussels are tasty and well-cooked but the sauce had little flavor (the wine, garlic & cream sauce). $11 for a draft beer is too high. Waitresses were very good. We got a booth - that's the only way to go - tables are far too close to others. OK but probably will not be back."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "We always enjoy the mussels and the food at the mussel bar. It is consistent and tasty. On this visit, we sat outside to enjoy the beautiful evening. The waiter spilled someone else's shells down the back of my husband and stained his shirt. I am not able to get the stains out. The manager wasn't very helpful, just said that it will come out. Food always good, the best mussels around. Drinks always good as well. Service not so much."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "longest beer list I've ever seen. My husband and I took our 3 boys for dinner on 4th of July. We sat outside. We had 4 orders of mussels and 1 of my sons had the cheeseburger. All satisfied. Only thing we did not think was that great was the hot crab dip--bland, no taste and barely any crab flavor so I would not recommend it."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "When the weather is lovely outside, as it was last Saturday, it's a darn nice evening to sit outside with family and friends and a big pot of delicious mussels. Try the sweet potato fries for an extra treat. You'll feel like you're on vacation even if you can't get away."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Mussel Bar & Grille had fresh mussels, incredible sweet potato fries and a surprisingly great wine selection. I am not a beer drinker but their beer list was phenomenal.... It's a great bar with great mussels."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "It is so unusual to find a restaurant with such an expansive mussel selection and beer list. A great neighborhood find!"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "We were instantly seated, and our waiter was right on time. I always go to mussel bar, but this day was the best ever. Our waiter Gregory, was just so knowledgable about the different beers and EVERY recommendation he made was better than the first. He made our experience there unforgettable. The food is always amazing and speaks for itself, but to have excellent service and food? Def coming back sooner rather than later!!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "great selection of beers. mussel combinations are always refreshing"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "My group of 6 had dinner at Mussel Bar the other evening. The food was really good and the service was outstanding. James was attentive, knowledgeable about the menu and very pleasant. His recommendations were all right on point. I strongly recommend eating there. Try the Calamari, its the best I ever had."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Great dining experience. Second time at the Bethesda location. Excellent service, delicious mussels! Generous portions. Will return on special occasions!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "We loved the food. Our waitress steered us right. Fun cocktails, nice/colorful/crunchy salad, delicious mussels and frites (sweet potato) with interesting sauces and delicious brussels sprouts (really!). Will go back soon. Nice. [Only down side were tiny little bugs flying around outside and made me feel itchy...not sure what they were. Not so many to move, but enough to be "pests."]"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "food was great !!!! I will come back soon. the atmosphere was great. highly recommended."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Great restaurant. Simple, straightforward food is always prepared perfectly. Best beer list in the area. Great service. Very casual. A little loud if you want to have a conversation but not horrible. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "I took my mom who was visiting from out of town here after reading the reviews. We had a great time. The service was excellent. Our server, Christine ( I think), knew the menu well and made great recommendations. We had oysters, mushroom soup, mushroom mussels and the rockfish special. Each dish was AMAZING! I don't often make repeat visits to restaurants b/c I'm always interested in trying new things. I will be making an exception for Mussel Bar...it's well worth a 2nd and even 3rd trip. "
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "We went early but it filled rapidly. The waitress knew her beers and was a great help to create a flight of different beers. My son said he would switch from other local bars to come to the selection here. The food was great and quickly served. The menu showed a good variety of small dishes and appetizers. All would go with a good brew. The total bill for 4 was a bit expensive but we enjoyed ourselves!"
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Good ambiance, not overly loud. This place has an extensive beer list with imports from all over the world - definitely try something new! If you go for the mussels, it's unlikely you'll be disappointed. We had the Mediterranean and Curry Thai varieties and both skillets were empty by the end of dinner. This is a great place to head for a casual night out."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Even if the food were just mediocre, I'd say go for the beer list. It would take years to sample everything Mussel has available. On a packed Friday night, we arrived about 5 minutes late for our Open Table reservation and had to wait. Two of us ordered the heirloom roasted beet salad--lovely, fresh and flavorful. Four of us each ordered a different mussel dish---everyone sighed with pleasure over their choices and the cross-sampling resulted in even more approval. This is now on our list of favorites. Bethesda offers a lot of excellent dining, convenient to the locals and nearby burbs. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "It is hard to know how to recommend this restaurant because the noise level was so deafening on Saturday night that it overwhelmed the quality of the food. Eating outside would certainly solve the noise problem."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "several choices for sauce with the mussels. Very tasty. Very attentive wait staff."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "sirloin steak did not meet my expectation - it had a rubbery texture - you should replace it with filet mignon."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "I've always walked by during lunch and wanted to check it out. Decided to go with some coworkers while the Friday weather was nice. Food was absolutely amazing although everything took awhile. So either plan to be aay from work for over an hourmor maybe wait until about 1 when they've got more things cooking. I will definitely go back!"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "excellent beer selection! food and service are very good. love that they have numerous tables outside. "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "After many good reviews, I was excited to try this. We tried two different mussels--both ample serving sizes. They were both bland flavor-wise, and very sandy and gritty. They were also over cooked. The pomme frites were simple french fries and nothing special. I love pomme frites with my mussels--these disappointed. The trio of dipping sauces were nice, but very similar tasting. I will not return. "
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "I only tasted my Provencal mussels and my friend's white wine version and they were both good. I don't think it was necessary to have cream in the white wine version but that's my preference. My friends enjoyed their kale salad and the prices for the Belgian beers wasn't too bad, though my Dutch husband would disagree. We went there early on a rainy Wednesday evening before a movie so it was fairly quiet. The waiter did tend to disappear a little considering how quiet it was but otherwise we were able to get our check when we needed to. It's a good place to go before or after the movies. One caveat: the frites were not quite up to par as as their other restaurants. I wasn't tempted to steal too many from my friends (I had salad instead)."
    Dined on 4/30/2014
  • "Great oyster specials & mussels! I think that & the plentiful choices off of the beer list are all that I've had any time I have been here! Big fan."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "We ate at Mussel Bar and Grille on Saturday night. We asked to be seated outside and the staff accommodated. While we were waiting for our entrees, it started to rain. The staff was quick about moving us inside while trying to figure out where to seat us. They did everything they could to find us a table inside, but as it was a busy night, the tables were all taken. Instead, the staff set up several umbrellas outside, and were running in and out in the rain to bring us our drinks and food. We really appreciated their attentiveness and ingenuity. Food was awesome, beer list was extensive, and a great time was had by all. This wasn't our first time eating there and it certainly won't be our last!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "We've eaten dinner at Mussel Bar and enjoyed it very much. It is active and energetic in the evening. We tried it for brunch and it was inadequate. While the menu was o.k., it's hard to think of a good brunch place that only has white bread for toast…no rye, no wheat. We were told we could get a brioche…we said OK, but got white bread toast. Sorry…we'll go for dinner, but NOT for brunch. Perhaps that's why it wasn't very crowded on a Sunday morning in the spring. "
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "The mussels were good but overpriced for this charmless noisy restaurant with poor service. The waitress charged us for something we decided not to get and took forever with the bill, which in Bethesda with parking meter running out is not good. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "We had a grilled squid appetiser that was better than expected - very tender and nicely flavored, not at all rubbery. My carbonnade was excellent, and a beer I tried for the first time was interesting. My wife found her mussels to be plump and tender, although she said the thai sauce was a little watery / underflavored. The free bread was great. The only disappointment was the frites which were seasoned and thick, not at all like the normal frites style. And the dips were cold and sort of hardended. Normally the frites would not go to waste but these were awful . . . I hope they revert to a normal approach. While I'm making suggestions, the draft beer list is trending in the wrong direction. Please get more / new Belgians."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "My husband and I always enjoy our meal at Mussel Bar. We often go for a more casual date night because the restaurant has a more laid back atmosphere. The food is always delicious and the food often comes fast. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "We've been meaning to try Mussel Bar and decided to give it a try for Easter Brunch. The food was delicious and the staff super friendly. A nice, and different, Easter choice for us. The kids loved the mussels."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Being a vegetarian (albeit ovo-lacto), I was a little concerned about whether I'd have options at a mussel place. The brunch did not disappoint. Their 3 eggs anyway (I got two poached, one scrambled), were perfectly cooked and came with nice rosemary potatoes. They had a wonderful gazpacho on special as well. The place wasn't crowded at all, which I'm told is unusual. 5 stars and thanks for a wonderful brunch."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Daily special of soft shell crab was just as outstanding as the mussels- Excellent!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "The food is exceptional. One must order the Mediterranean Mussels as a starter to share with others at the table. The lamb is top notch as well. If you are engrossed in your dining companions you will totally forgot that you're dining in a more casual atmosphere."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "My friend and I ordered the tartar to start then kenneth mussels and the pork chop special and shared the two dishes. They absolutely complemented each other! Both the server and the chef were very understanding about my dairy issues and was able to take out the cream from the kenneth mussel dish. It was still delicious! I would have drank the broth right out of pan if it weren't an embarrassing thing to do! I would have given the service a 5, but our server forgot our brussel sprouts in the beginning. Will definitely dine here again."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Unbelievably loud, slow service, really bland food."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "As someone with celiac disease who must therefore eat gluten-free, I was delighted with the assistance I received at Mussel Bar. I had included in my Open Table reservation that I would need help with gluten-free options. Without my saying anything to the hostess, the chef appeared at our table shortly after we were seated and asked who was eating gluten-free. He then proceeded to go over the menu with me, noting that many dishes were gluten-free AND they had recently started using rice flour instead of wheat flour in their mussel sauces. A few minutes later, the server verified with us that the chef had come out to talk with me. It was wonderful to have so many delicious choices and such an attentive team."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I live in this area and made reservations for my sister's birthday dinner. I only see her 2-3 times a year so it was important I got the reservations right!! The seafood was the focal point (excellent mussels of course) but the other plates were equally delicious! The beer menu is amazing and great for trying something new!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014