Destination: Tripel Brasserie
One of the absolute best meals to be had is moules frite (mussels and fries) and a pint of beer. And Tripel Brasserie, a newly opened Belgian-style beer house in Lafayette Square, has that combo down pat. While the menu includes influences from Bavarian, French, German and Flemish cuisine, its wild-harvested Moosabec mussels are a standout among the many enticing offerings.
You can get your mussels six different ways—a la Mariniere (in white wine-shallot broth), Normandes (with cream sauce), Provencales (with tomato, garlic and fresh basil), a la Chouffe (with cracked pepper), a la Witte (with Belgian wheat beer) or Specialite Maison (with blue cheese and calvados). Belgian fries are made in-house using Kennebec potatoes that are blanched in lard and deep-fried for an extra-crispy exterior. They’re served in the traditional fashion—with mayonnaise.
When it comes to beer, you’ve got plenty of choices. Tripel serves 16 beers on tap and 30 in bottles with an emphasis on, you guessed it, Belgian and Belgian-style brews. The menu offers up helpful descriptions of each beer selection, but if it’s your first time at the moules frites table, ask a bartender to pair one of their beers with the style of mussels you ordered to enhance the experience.
Not a mussels fan? No problem. The menu boasts plenty of great alternative pub fare. Of particular note is the housemade charcuterie. Start your meal with the terrine of the day or make it the star of the meal with choucroute garni (housemade sausages and smoked pork). The menu has a lot of interesting meat selections, in fact. In addition to the usual beef, pork and chicken, look for veal, quail and even antelope. Vegetarian appetites are not overlooked, with Asperges à la Flamande (asparagus with boiled egg), cream of endive soup, millet gratin and a vegetarian version of Flemish stew. Tripel Brasserie is open for dinner Tue.-Sat., and closed Sunday and Monday.
1801 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.678.7787, tripelstl.com