The BF and I went for a LONG walk this past Sunday, through all sorts of neighborhoods and ended up getting pretty hungry. We were going to try Sheep Station but found ourselves in the middle of the Brooklyn Pub Crawl 2009, egads! So, in a desperate attempt to escape we ended up deeper in Park Slope at Belleville (330-332 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of 5th Street, 718-832-9777). This corner place seems to have quite a divided following. Seems like it hit a rough patch in recent times, but I think things have settled down and the food is back on track. Personally, I really like it, and have never had a bad meal here. I also think their Roasted Chicken is amongst the best; juicy & flavorful and just how you like it. The vibe is chill and authentically French, with luggage racks installed above your heads along the perimeter like you're at an old train station, old mirrors and the hugest doors you'll ever see heading into the bathrooms. It's also priced quite reasonably.
I wasn't in the mood for chicken so we decided to get a couple of things and split everything. The Moules with Frites were terrific. Big, meaty mussels in an oniony broth; some were briny like the ocean and made me feel like I was dining at the end of a beach vacation. There were so many, I don't think we were able to finish them.
The Frites were great too - perfectly fried, crispy and salted and wonderful to either dip into ketchup, or used to soak up the extra broth at the bottom of the bowl. We also got a side of the Mushroom & Pea Risotto which was OK. Not as creamy as I like my risotto, and probably unnecessary to have ordered, but the BF was worried we wouldn't have enough food so I indulged him.
We also got the Burger which comes with Roquefort and Bacon and was AMAZING. Really, it was great. Juicy, flavorful, decadent, and perfect to split with someone. The bun was well-proportioned and toasted, and the sauteed red onions provide some grounding for the strong flavors of the cheese and bacon. This was thoroughly enjoyed and every last bit was polished off.
Another great meal at Belleville. Something to note however is that they no longer serve hard alcohol, only wine and beer, which is definitely something new, and a bit of a disappointment when you're jonesing for a Martini. Some nice beers are offered on tap, and the wine selection is extensive.