Mussel up

illustration by mark stivers

I’m a mussel slut, which doesn’t mean I have the hots for the sculpted, finely toned kind (I lie). Rather, the kind you cook in white wine and serve in a broth flavored with garlic and butter. I can’t help it; I just love a plate of smartly flavored mussels.

I often go to Tulí Bistro (2031 S Street), where they sauce them in a spicy mixture of mustard and Belgian beer. Other times I hit up Magpie Caterers Market and Café (1409 R Street), whose mussels are made fragrant with saffron and oregano. Of course, any self-respecting mussel slut can best get it on at Plan B (555 La Sierra Drive), where they serve mussels five different ways (go for the mussels nantaise: The broth is a delicious mixture of shallots, crème, butter and crème fraîche).

Preparing them at home is just as easy. Cook them in a broth of white wine, mustard, and sautéed onions and garlic. Be sure to toss any that are open before or closed after cooking (these were dead long before).

Lastly, most mussels you eat these days are safely farmed. This means they’re affordable, easy to prepare, sustainable and eco-friendly.