Friday, January 31, 2014


Chef/Owners Pattie and Mark Mezzancello have created a faultless Bistro dedicated to presenting 13 ways to prepare P.E.I. plump mussels.

The standard menu begins with 7 appetizers – we sampled 5…a crab cake (all meat, no filler) with a horseradish mustard and ginger soy sauce, then red and golden roasted beet slices topped with a terrific goat cheese fritter, pistachios in a balsamic reduction. Plan on ordering clams casino, pancetta, diced peppers and onions in a shell with parmesan and garlic as a rough-cut filling. A superior, tasty, textured seafood bisque, featured brandy and sherry plus tomatoes and cream. Outstanding. We hadn’t experienced baked kale – a dry, flaky item with olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper- unusual but a popular dish here.

Mussels- each a serving of 1 ½ pounds of fresh Prince Edward Island’s plump gems are flavor infused by their complex ingredients and broths. Mussel Beach boasts 14 variations on the theme- we sampled six!
Mariniere style featured shallots, garlic, onion, white wine and butter. Prosciutto style had caramelized onions, white wine, garlic and cream, while the French Onion version had baked caramelized onions, Dijon mustard and corn bread. The Italian offering had squid, fresh fish, a red wine tomato sauce featuring roasted garlic and basil. Lobster bisque style had rich tomato while the Thai version had a very pungent curry coconut base with lemongrass, garlic, ginger and jalapenos! We found each and every one to be a treasure treat!

Four salads are presented. The Ahi Tuna with its cabbage, Lo Mein noodles and wasabi in a ginger soy vinaigrette was excellent. The listed Caesar, with kale, romaine, croutons and parmesan cheese had a key lime Caesar dressing that, while tasty, is nowhere near a true Caesar – mia culpa! We’ll try both the Malibu and Mandarin versions another day.

The seven seafood items included the fine Ahi Tuna, a grouper, a Mahi Oscar style, plump sea scallops (perfectly prepared) and a delightful pretzel encrusted Scottish salmon – a winner! Also, try “The Kettle” with king crab legs, mussels, shrimp, scallops, clams, chorizo, corn, red potatoes in garlic wine sauce.

 A couple of “Besides Seafood” items are a Hawaiian Rib Eye and a Sticky Glazed Chicken. For somewhat lighter fare choose from five sandwiches, all served with “Beach Fries”.

FYI- Mussel Beach offers a full bar service, 24 white and 17 red wines plus 4 sparkling, by glass and bottle. 7 martinis and 6 other cocktails are listed as are a dozen beers.

Audrey, Joanne, Barry and this reviewer ended our dining with samples of Mussel Beach’s desserts. The dark chocolate mousse with fresh strawberries, salted caramel and whipped cream was followed by a white chocolate bread pudding with a berry compote. Tried “Crack Pie” – an oatmeal pie with vanilla bean ice cream. Finally, tiny doughnut balls fried with amaretto, cinnamon, sugar and crème anglaise. A very sweet way to end a fabulous dining experience.

Mussel Beach Restaurant is located at 501 East Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach (561-921-6464) and is open 7 days. Try luncheon/dinner from 11:30AM to 10PM on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and until midnight thereafter. In addition to the standard menu, there are Chef specials and a kids menu. Established in January of 2014, they seat 102 diners inside and 25 on the patio. We suggest that you…Go and Enjoy!

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