In reimagining the Belgian custom of mussels served with frites, Waterzooi executive chef Ed Davis has developed endless variations on the theme, from traditional bouillabaisse to Thai-inspired moules pots. The chicken is crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and the smokiness of the ham and sharpness of the cheese is the perfect filling. A customer favorite, the Carbonade Falmande is the Belgian version of beef Bourguignon, marinated in Belgian brown ale and slowly cooked with nutmeg, caramelized apples and prunes.
Yes, at Waterzooi, there is respect for tradition, but the experience is far from sacrosanct. You get to enjoy two or three pots on a table of six or eight, and also enjoy some of the savory items on the menu. Racy, red leather banquettes line the room, and the atmosphere is more boisterous than pious. You can also reach it by public transportation, if you don't drive. I think each pot has two and a half pounds of mussels, and it really is enough to feed people. They have a prix fixe lunch which is worth trying. I had the baby arugula salad and the herb grilled chicken panini. You get a choice of one appetizer and one entree. A devotion to mussels. I highly recommend Waterzooi for happy hour, brunch or dinner. Appetizers include traditional French onion soup and lobster bisque, a smoked salmon flatbread topped with peppery baby arugula and beer-braised short rib sliders. We didn't have any beverages with the meal, just water. The dining room suggests a grotto, with cream-colored stucco walls and vaulted ceilings. My boyfriend had the lobster croquette and toasted sweet potato gnocchi. Mussels, or moules— the national dish of Belgium—are revered there, and a meal at Waterzooi approaches a religious experience. A deep black ceramic vessel is placed worshipfully on the table, illuminated by votive candles. One has to do a little homework to get the backstory on the name that likely has you scratching your head. The menu is on the pricey side, but the food and atmosphere are worth it. In reimagining the Belgian custom of mussels served with frites, Waterzooi executive chef Ed Davis has developed endless variations on the theme, from traditional bouillabaisse to Thai-inspired moules pots. A very comforting, homey dish. Chicken breast is stuffed with Belgian ham and gruyere cheese, breaded and fried and served over country mashed potatoes, with hericot vert French green beans , and a rosemary jus. The Fruits de Mer raw bar features eight to ten different oyster options daily—typically five from the East Coast and five from the West Coast. It also has a great bar and is a happening happy hour spot for the lawyer and banker types who work in the area. There's ample parking in the rear of the restaurant. Everywhere you turn, couples, seniors and families are engaged in lively conversation. Named for a Belgian fish stew that is available on the menu, Waterzooi is the only Belgian bistro on Long Island.
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