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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 WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Diner Reviews
  • "Sat outside which is lovely. Inside, even before the live music, is about the noisiest restaurant I've ever seen."
    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."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Bouillabaisse was not that great as the soup needed more taste and flavor. Service was excellent thought."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "One of our favorite places before the movies - interesting variety - burgers, pizza, mussels, specials. A little pricey"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "The restaurant has a wonderful selection of quality food for all types of appetites. And their wine and beer list is outstanding. The service staff knows the long menu and is attentive. Fun attmosphere and can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Lots of hard-to-find Belgian beers. Food is mostly fried, but some good fried items (e.g., soft shell crabs). Friendly and helpful staff and servers. Very loud."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Had a dinner with my family there. Food and services were outstanding. Focus on mussels and beer."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Broadest selection of fine beers in the area. Coupled with a server with an outgoing personality it makes dining a pleasure, even if you have to talk above the roar. Mussels are the thing to get with great fresh bread for dunking."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "We chose Mussel Bar and Grille because we are fans of Chef Wiedemaier's other restaurants. This one is less formal than the others we have visited. My husband and I each ordered mussels in different styles. They come in a cast iron skillet and are plentiful for the price. Both were excellent. Regular or sweet potato fries are extra, but worth it. We were pleased with the friendly and attentive service, especially when our server offered to put cheese which was part of the dish on the side to accommodate a dietary restriction. There is a wide beer selection and weeknight wine specials. We were there on a Monday night, so it wasn't too noisy, but I suspect it is louder on weekends. All in all, a great spot for a casual night out."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Great food. We all had various mussel dishes, all were delicious. A little over-priced in my opinion, both the food and the drinks (tap beers are around $9-12). Very friendly and attentive service."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "And besides being tiny, they come in a very hot cast iron skillet. Do not accidently touch it, but do move over when the server removes the cover which is wet with hot water. There is no way to prevent the mussels from being hopelessly overcooked by the time you get to them. Rethink the delivery, guys!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "I just happened to see a post on instagram from a friend of mine who had been here; since I love mussels I figured I should give it a chance. I have to say I was impressed with the food and service! I booked an early dinner for 4:45 because my boyfriend and I were going to see the Lion King at the Kennedy Center at 7:30. Around 4:30 it's pretty empty so I'm not sure how the service is when it gets later in the evening, but, our service was amazing. All of our food came out in perfect timing and everything tasted great! My boyfriend was very happy with all the different types of beer they had stocked..over 100 from different countries. I will definitely go back again and would suggest that other people give it a try as well!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "While all of the food we had was delicious, the menu is small, and a bit pricey. the wine that i wanted to order was only offered by the bottle, and my friend was not drinking so I didn't get to taste it and there was not really a similar option by the glass. Everything tasted great, but I guess I would have liked some more options. The service was very good, and overall we enjoyed ourselves."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "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
  • "It doesn't get much better than mussels and Belgian beer, and this place does both very well. Nice casual atmosphere and really, really good mussels."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "great selection of beers. mussel combinations are always refreshing"
    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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "food was great !!!! I will come back soon. the atmosphere was great. highly recommended."
    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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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