Had dinner Saturday night at newly opened Moules et Frites in Syosset. It was generally quite good.
The room is about 1/3 bar -- appropriate considering the restaurant has dubbed itself a "Belgian Biergarten" -- though the music piped throughout the room can be somewhat intrusive. We weren't drinking, but there was a very good beer selection (not so much wine at this point).
Went with a family of 4 - the place is kid friendly and there were plenty of other children around. The menu features an extensive selection of Mussels as appetizers (with frites, $5 extra), as well as other French and Teutonic items.
We started off with a bowl of mussels with lardons and mushrooms in a cream sauce, as well as a leek and gruyere tart. The mussels were served in the traditional lidded copper pot, and were perfectly cooked. Just barely done - none overcooked or rubbery. They were not enormous mussels, but there were plenty of them and the flavor was fine. The fries were perfect, freshly made, REAL fries. None of that awful sprinkled on seasoning mix. Just pure fried potatoes. Served with tiny dishes of ketchup and mayo. Being Americans, though, we needed to ask for more ketchup. The leek tart was tasty, but it was heavy on the cheese. A bit more custard would have made a lighter appetizer.
For entrees, my daughter ordered the macaroni with 3 cheeses, my wife the bratwurst (they have a selection of sausages to choose from), my picky-eater son a cheeseburger. I ordered a wienerschnitzel. The bratwurst was a revelation for me, since I've only had supermarket brats and couldn't understand all the excitement -- they are so bland. This was very nicely spiced, but not in-your-face. Served in a split pretzel (nice touch) with red cabbage and potato salad. Not a German style vinegar based potato salad, but mayo/mustard/egg based. And terrific. The potatoes were not watery or undercooked, as is often the case, and the seasoning was spot on.
My son's cheeseburger looked fine -- he liked it. The mac and cheese was flavorful, but could have used more sauce. It was dryish on the inside, with a good layer of cheese on top. Needed to be more like a cheese-sauced gratin underneath. Not bad, but not great.
My wienerschnitzel was very nice - a very big slab of veal nicely breaded and fried, with a frisee salad and fried egg on top. The meat was far superior to the typical slice of processed tasting veal you get at a typical red-sauce Italian place. Accompanied by a gargantuan portion of the potato salad.
We were too stuffed for dessert.
We arrived early - around 6pm, and seated immediately. By the time we left, there was a line out the door.
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