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Jul 30, 2010 04:35 PM

Mannequin Pis

I see a few references to good mussels at Mannequin Pis on this board, We are supposed to go here for dinner tomorrow and I thought some comments on the restaurant's website were a bit on the snooty side. Is this restaurant worth it? (and if someone in our party isn't a mussel fan, is anything else good?)

Mannequin Pis Restaurant
18064 Georgia Ave, Olney, MD 20832

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  1. Be careful about the specials. The prices are out of control. Other than that, I didn't have the mussels, but anything else we ordered was forgettable.

    1. I've only been there once several years ago in a group of four. Two of us ordered a mussels entree. Both of us were disappointed; the mussels were overcooked and the broth was unspectacular. The frites that came with the mussels were limp. One friend, who ordered the boar special, was not impressed either and it was quite expensive. The only good thing they had that we all agreed upon was the Belgian beer.

      1. Ivysmom:
        I live in Olney and have been going there for years. Last Wednesday we took foodie friends there for their first time. Great meal. Started with appetizers: Some type of sausage served over red cabbage (they had 6 to choose from), a wild mushroom over pastry dough thing and a white and green asparagus with puff pastry, sauteed leeks and chopped egg. All 3 were delicious. We each had mussels as our main course. They have about 15 different styles and a Kg pot is $20. All 4 of us had different mussels and all of us thought they were outstanding, plump, fresh and delicious.
        I have also in the past split mussels with someone as an appetizer and then ordered main courses. This is a more expensive way to eat but the food has always been excellent. The restaurant is in a very ordinary strip center and is next to an excellent sushi restaurant, Wasabi Zen. The inside of the restaurant makes you feel like you are away in some small bistro in france or belgium. Great wine and belgian beer selection. Not an inexpensive place to eat soup to nuts and drink a lot but if you order wisely it isn't that expensive. I would definitely rec that you go

        Wasabi Zen
        18066 Georgia Ave, Olney, MD 20832

        1. Haven't been in several years, but it was quite good then, though the owner/chef quit and there is a new chef now. The service was amateurish but well-intentioned. Nice small, quiet atmosphere.
          If you want a snooty atmosphere and arrogant service, go to Brasserie Beck or the Mussel Bar.

          Brasserie Beck
          1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

          2 Replies
          1. re: a1234

            the head chef bernard damme who was the old owner hardly ever cooked. when he sold to the knew owners most if not all of his kitchen staff and other chefs stayed thus the food did not change. A lot of the drama that was there before is gone and it is a very mellow nice evening there. we had professional service

            1. re: dining with doc

              Just our report - the service last night was fine. Very professional. Unobtrusive removal of mussel shells,etc. I have to agree with some of the posts that the food was so-so. Some in our group were satisfied with their mussels, my husband and I believe we have had better elsewere. Not especially plump, somewhat sandy, just ok. One man in our group had the rib-eye steak and thought it was great. Desserts were said to be good. So, maybe mussels are hit or miss, other items good. Great beer selection!

          2. Funny this came up. I've been a MoCo guy for 40 years, and finally made it to MP a few weeks ago.

            While not exactly convenient to me, getting there was no prob and parking was easy. The setting if nice. Beer and wine lists are pretty good actually. Service is good too. That said it was a Friday in July and the place was half empty.

            We had 2 orders of the mussels to start. They were fine to good. My criteria is 1) how fresh they are, 2) how big/plump they are, 3) how properly cooked they are, 4) how clean they are (no sand). These were fresh, clean, medium size, and only slightly overcooked. The two sauce were fine, if a little watery/bland. The sauces were not reduced after the mussels had bee cooked which would have helped.

            For dinner we had 2 of the sausages, the white sausage and the blood sausage. Both served on a mustardy cooked cabbage/slaw. Both were excellent. Very, very good. I might go back for this dish alone one winter evening. We also had the whole grilled bacon wrapped trout that was a very large, but very overcooked. Again, this was worth going back for, if you requested it a bit less cooked. And finally a chicken dish which was good, but again, a bit overcooked.

            Anyway, it is a very nice evening if you are up that way. Not much else to choose from quite frankly. And I certainly think it's worth the moderate prices. But I can't imagine anyone driving from Bethesda, more less downtown for it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pappy

              Thanks for the detailed report. I'm not sure how things are managed now, but when I went the prices for the recited specials were not recited ...I'm sure many a customer was caught by surprise when the bill arrived.

              1. re: Pappy

                Yes, and imagine, we drove from Ellicott City, one couple came from Arnold and another
                near Odenton. The Odenton couple had been to MP's a while ago and liked it, so we all met on their recommendation. My husband and I just were a bit disappointed, prices are moderate but by no means cheap. A big pot of mussels - with some sand, bland sauce, and overcooked is not a bargain. But as we've both stated - beer selection good, service good, so not a total wash. But not worth a repeat visit for us, even though my mom is in Leisure World, very close by. FYI, they had a printed list of specials, which did include prices.

                1. re: ivysmom

                  sorry for your bad luck
                  happy I have not had bad experiences since I love that place. I get the tarragon one and it is so fragrent when they open the lid and so tasteful, anything but bland? no sand, plump and were cooked perfectly?