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

Mussel Bar & Grille - Bethesda

  • 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 WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Mussel Bar & Grille - Bethesda reviews from OpenTable diners
117 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelEnergetic
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (42)fit for foodies (42)great for outdoor dining (40)vibrant bar scene (32)good for groups (28)hot spot (22)notable wine list (16)great for lunch (13)special occasion (12)late-night find (12)kid-friendly (8)great for brunch (8)romantic (7)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Anemic mussels and over-salted shrimp
    Taglawdc
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    One would expect that a restaurant named Mussel would have good mussels. Not here. Mussels were tiny, so that a pound of mussels was barely an appetizer. Grilled shrimp for Caesar salad were so salty, they easily out-salted the anchiovies on the salad. Way overpriced for food of that quality.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    BrianJVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Everything we have here is delicious First time I ever ordered mussels as my dinner.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Count on it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Extensive beer list, delicious mussels, and great service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No real complaints!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We had been told that Mussel Bar has gone through a slump period-- bad reviews, new management etc. After not visiting for some time, we returned. The food was good, service was on point. My one note is that someone (hosts/managers) came by our table to see how we were much too frequently-- approximately 6 times throughout our meal. Our server was doing a fine job with checking in with us so the frequent host/manager visit was unnecessary. We appreciated the kind gesture, however.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A very fair fare experience
    PaulVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The restaurant owner is charging prices not dissimilar from those at his Brasserie Beck venue yet the quality is nowhere near the same. Please meet the standards set by your prices, not just charge Bethesda prices because you are located in Bethesda! That will not get you return customers, at least food-savvy ones. While the salads were excellent and big enough to offer decent value at $12, the bouillabaisse was fair at best. Many of the mussels included very unpleasant crunchy sand, something I never have experienced in many trips to Brasserie Beck. Moreover, the texture of the shrimp and swordfish was chewy, not tender -- odd for being in a stew. The shrimp and swordfish also lacked flavor. A very disappointing anniversary outing. Luckily, our marriage is a very happy one so we do not depend on food quality to make our anniversary enjoyable. :-)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Construction During Lunch
    KarenVIP
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    The construction noise during lunch was terrible. Then to compensate for the noise by the construction crew, the music was turned up very loud - the whole experience was not enjoyable. We could not hear ourselves talk. I believe that during the lunch hour (12 - 2), renovation should be suspended. I also believe an apology by the manager should have taken place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loud
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I went on a Saturday night. The place was packed and extremely loud. My date and I had to shout at each from across a table to be heard. Our waiter was outstanding. I wish that I could say the same for the food. The steak was under cooked. The frites were good. For the price, the food should have been much better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • mussels were excellent value.
    Rock
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Other food over priced and small portions. Appears that this restaurant is over focused on food cost control.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food was excellent.
    jazzlover1949VIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    The food was incredible. The service excellent. Ashton is a great server. She is knowledgable, has
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun place---good not great
    BrentVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Second time here. Met a friend for dinner to catch up. Service was friendly and attentive. Quality of the food was good but not great. Onion soup was drowning in fried onions and very salty and the mussels were overcooked and not very flavorful. I did not enjoy it as much as I did my first time there about 6 months ago. On the fence about going back again, there are a lot of choices in this neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great as always
    MusselFan
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    We have eaten here probably 10 times since moving to the area 5 months ago. Another great meal. They have a good beer selection, both bottle and draft. The food is excellent, whether brunch, lunch, dinner or late-night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unfortunate Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Everything about the restaurant was great except for the food. We were so disappointed that the salads were over dressed and greasy and the calamari appetizer was very over seasoned. Our flatbread pizza was the best thing we ate, but was also quite greasy. They really need to increase the quality of items coming from the kitchen because this was a huge turn off. I won't be heading back there anytime soon.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good, but loud
    Kelly
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Great food, quite loud though. I'd go back but on a weekday when it's less crowded.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Had a very late dinner, they were
    lilPrawnVIP
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    very accommodating. The food was still outstanding even though it was the end of the night. We ordered a little bit of everything- mac and cheese was amazing. Our server was perfectly friendly and attentive. She even ran out the door to give me the to-go box I left on the table. We just had a great experience, overall. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Meh
    thirstymelissa
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    It's fine, but nothing I'd rush back to. Expensive for the amount and lack of specialness that you get.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not the best visit
    samyVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We usually like the food at the mussel bar. This visit was an exception. The roasted beet salad was excellent. But while half way eating the fairly generous portions our entrees arrived. Obviously there was no room on the table, so they had to go back. When they came back the very large skillets had to be squeezed on the table with the beer and bread that one of the beer glasses spilt over my guest (the manager made a price adjustment). The big disappointment was the mussels. Mine was white wine and cream. There was so mush wine that the entire crustacean flavor was lost. The french fries (which now cost an extra $) were limp (probably waiting to be redelivered). That said, I’d go again looking for my previous memories of great mussels.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • excellent quality
    foodieVIP
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    I have now eaten here twice, in the span of 10 days - the first time was out of curiosity, the second because I loved the food the first time around. I was not disappointed. Both times I had mussels. The Thai influenced mussels came in a pleasing coconut based broth, with spicy notes; the only peeve I had was that the accompanying peanuts were a bit overwhelming. The Provençale version came with a tomato and cream-based broth, and the house-made bread was just perfect for mopping it up. I also had a delicious beet salad - very generous portion.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Value Good Food
    Lampedusa7990VIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We enjoyed pleasant, friendly service and good food. We ordered dinner entrees with red wine instead of mussels and beer. Both entrees, grilled salmon and steak frites, were well prepared, flavorful, and reasonably priced. Their focus is beer but their wine list is not run of the mill. Two tasty entrees with good portions and a decent bottle of wine for around $100. We will return.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mussel Bar Bethesda
    nomnom12
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Food was spot on. I got the rainbow trout and it was delicious. Our server was great and had a great attitude. If you want to have a conversation and not yell beware, it's loud.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great mussels; Many cool beers.
    David
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    stopped by with a friend from out of town. Had a nice dinner sitting outside watching the world go on by, drinking some unusual beer and eating tasty mussels. Not sure if having the front row seats to observe the pathetic attempts at parallel parking in front of the restaurant are a plus or minus - surely it was entertaining...
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Oysters and mussels!
    Carey
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Great place for oyster, mussels, and drinks. Good beer selection. Salads, pizzas, and other dishes are good also.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my favorite dishes ever
    maxinetteVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    The Kennett Square mushrooms mussel dish is seriously one of my favorite dishes of all time. Just amazing flavors, ingredients and deliciousness. Sitting outside was lovely.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Impressions
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Mussel dishes absolutely outstanding. Noise level outside fine. Inside (where we did not sit) it would have been way too loud.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The food is overpriced and mediocre. And in family friendly Bethesda, they don't have a changing table in the restroom! I asked the manager and they have no plans to put one in. I'll take my business elsewhere; they obviously don't need families with young children dining there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Now with full Bethesda pricing
    sambVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Mussels has been a favorite since it opened, but I feel like every time we go the prices have inched up further. Now, for a couple to to share an appetiser, each get a main course, and each have a beer, expect to pay more than $100. Most Belgian beers are now at least $11 for a bottle. The mussels no longer come with fries (which, by the way, used to be good, but now they are hand cut and oily, not like Belgian fries), you have to pay extra. You get the idea. My wife's mussels with curry were good. My whole roasted bass was tasty but not overly memorable (except spitting bones, but that's always a risk with the whole fish). Their bread is always good. Entrees in the low $20's and reasonably priced Belgian beer would be welcomed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • good muscules
    connoisseur24
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Really good food, not so great service. Would go again
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Extensive beer selection
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Great variety of beers on tap and knowledgeable and friendly waitstaff.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Dining Spot for Mussels
    Berny
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Had a Great Meal, at Outside Table. Tried a Recent change in their Mussels Menu Options, that was tasty and made for an Enjoyable Meal.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently awesome
    sussVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Never disappoints...love the choices of mussels. Wish they offered more seafood in the menu.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food
    BrianJVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We were really impressed with the food here. We had mac and cheese app, mussels, spicy lamb pizza, and braised short rib. Everything was delicious. Very extensive Beer list on draft. Will be Back
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic beer selection
    KyleVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Jay, the manager, was great. He spent a lot of time with us, helping us make selections from the beer menu that were in line with our preferences and still adventurous.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just OK
    AverageVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    The bar service on our recent visit was very poor-slow and perfunctory
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Absolutely First Class
    FredBVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    This is no stuffy Ruth Chris. A nice diversified menu that temps your pallet to reach for flavor and aroma. This is real dining. Take you time and bring on small courses one or two at a time. Share and enjoy!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dolor23
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    I really like this restaurant. They have great service and the food is great.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Sat outside which is lovely. Inside, even before the live music, is about the noisiest restaurant I've ever seen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great beers - leave the kids home
    BethesdaMom
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Our family of 5 had a pleasant outdoor dinner here last weekend. My husband LOVED the beer selection - one of the best in town. The food though was a little disappointing. Mussels were good but not great (and seemed a bit pricey at $24, even for the most basic preparation). Calamari appetizer was overpowered by rather strange sauces. Pizza was OK but on the plain side. Overall, could have been quite a bit better. The service though was outstanding, with our waitstaff very attentive to my boys' needs.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • More attention to detail needed
    FLewes
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    While the food has been consistently good, the service is consistently sub-par. Two examples: (1) I was given a short pour on an expensive draught beer (1/2 of the glass was head). When I ordered my second round and pointed out the issue, I was told "the beer is Belgian, and that is how it is supposed to be poured." I requested my second round contain more beer and was given a better pour, but in a smaller glass; (2) made a reservation for a party of 6. The weather was perfect and there were several tables available outside, so we requested to be seated outside. Was told they had one table that could fit 6, but it was taken. There were open tables that sat 4 and several that sat 2. No offer to put those together to accommodate us.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Will definitely be going back!
    nkstakeVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We had a delicious meal and wonderful service-- i'm sad we waited so long to check out this spot in our neighborhood! I think the name has always concerned us that they did not have a large menu outside of mussels but we were definitely wrong! they have a large beer selection and fair-sized menu of entrees in addition to their mussel offerings. i was seated before my partner arrived, which i really appreciated and my server suggested parking even! i got a a flight of draft beers selected by my server, with a bonus tasting to check my satisfaction for a suggestion. awesome! the mushroom-sauce mussels were AMAZING, as were our entrees. i ordered the special, the lobster-stuffed trout and it was fantastic. AMAZING VISIT!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't have the seared skate
    Goodwithmussels
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    My friend raved about her mussels, but my seared skate was super oily, mushy and very poorly executed. Our waiter was very nice and apologetic, but that didn't make up for the fish that I couldn't finish. How do you ruin a simple dish like this? I am not going back to this restaurant again. Can't be eating just mussels every time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Everything tasted great and the service was phenomenal - but I only had the mussels and an appetizer so I cannot call it "very good" or "great" with such a small sample. Next time I'll order more and upgrade the rating I'm sure!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 77 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 31, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 165 reviews are from the Mussel Bar & Grille - Bethesda reviews archive.