Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Brugge Brasserie

It has been a long, long time since we have been to Brugge Brasserie, (it was pre-blog days even) and the reason was the last time we went, it wasn’t very good. This time, it was really good and I look forward to my next visit to mix it up a little bit.

First of all, it was pretty impressive how busy this place was on a Monday night. It just goes to show, a quality independent can be successful. Our server was also much friendlier than the one we had last time and was helpful in answering questions.

So, we started with the endive salad which was mixed greens with some chopped endive, candied walnuts, blue cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. The salad was really tasty. The blue cheese was good quality and went really well with the candied walnuts. And when they say candied, they mean it; I mean there were some bigger pieces in there that looked like pieces of walnut brittle. The salad was properly dressed and we ate every bite. If I was going to be picky, I would say it was maybe just a little too sweet, with the candied walnuts and the raspberry vinaigrette, but I still really enjoyed it (and hubby thought it was great just the way it was). It was certainly enough to share between 2 people. There was a spinach salad as well as a special salad with caramelized fennel and pear. They both sounded really good as well. Next time.

For our dinner, we ordered the mussels Provencal. One of Brugge’s specialties is the mussels and they serve them in many different flavored seasonings. The Provencal was French Chardonnay, French Butter, herbs de Provence, shallot and garlic. I certainly like all of those things and it was really hard to choose amongst the different choices. Let me start by saying, it is nice to eat at a place with enough turnover that you know you are getting fresh mussels that are correctly prepared. They are also the smaller size that I prefer (yes, boys, size does matter, and bigger isn’t always better). As far as the mussels themselves went, they were super high quality. As far as the Provencal seasonings, I would prefer a bit more flavor. I saw one big garlic clove in the pot—instead of that maybe some minced garlic and some fresh herbs would have added a bit more? And even more shallots would have been good I think. I did enjoy them though, although I will definitely try another flavor next time. Hey, I have had lots of recommendations to eat here from readers. Tell me what your favorite flavor is for the mussels—I would love to know.

The 2 pounds of mussels (again, certainly enough to share) come with a bit of French bread and an order of frites with 2 dipping sauces. The frites, I will say, were outstanding. The combination of the frites, the dipping sauce and the mussels made a fantastic combination in my mouth. Again, they give you lots of choices for dipping sauces. We went with the regular aioli (mayo with fresh garlic) and the roasted garlic aioli (with roasted garlic obviously). The roasted garlic was much milder in flavor—I really preferred the regular aioli—it had a great garlic bite. I would probably get that one again and add in a new one next time. (Again, what’s your favorite flavor)? As far as the size of the frites, the ones that came with the mussels were really enough for the two of us, although if I had had more, I certainly would have eaten them. They were great. Rated up there with the best in the city.

Now, I know it is sort of sacrilegious, but we didn’t have the beer. Brugge is known for its own brewed beer and have won awards for it I understand. What can I say? I am not a beer drinker. We had wine—and I was glad to see a new wine list with some dryer choices. Last time most of them seemed pretty sweet as I recall.

I love dessert crepes, so we had the nutella crepe. Nothing super fancy, but tasty nonetheless. It was a sweet crepe filled with nutella (a hazelnut chocolate spread if you are unaware) and drizzled with raspberry sauce and cream. Hubby wasn’t a fan of the raspberry sauce detracting from his nutella, but I liked it all together.

All in all, I am really glad we went back to Brugge after all this time. It was a thoroughly enjoyable meal. (Note--they also serve many other things besides mussels, such as crepes, soups, and regular entrees as well. So if you aren’t into mussels, there are other options, although I can’t vouch for them (not yet anyway).)

(Don’t forget to leave your comment about your favorite mussel seasoning and frites dipping sauces! I gotta figure out my game plan for next time.)

Brugge Brasserie
1011 A East Westfield Blvd.
Indy 46220


  1. I really dig the curry mussels, I always need to order extra bread to sop up the goodness at the bottom of the pot. Mmmmmmmmmmmm delicious!

  2. As far as dipping sauces go, I recommend the sweet chili or hot curry.

  3. Although I've only had a few kinds, I have to say the saffron mussels are my favorite. The horseradish dipping sauce is also excellent, and I've heard good things about the homemade ketchup.

    I've got to ask though, what kinds of beers have you experienced? I understand everyone's got a unique palette and beer isn't necessarily for everyone, but there are just so many different styles. The Indiana Microbrewer's Festival is this weekend in Broad Ripple's Opti Park (shameless promotion)and they'll have hundreds of different beers, many of which are brewed here in Indiana.

    Also, I've only had their beer on a couple of occasions, but Russian River Brewing, near SF in wine country, makes amazing beer. If you go back to visit, I highly recommend them. They even age a few of their beers in wine barrels.


  4. This is one of my favorite spots in Indy. Not many choices on the menu, but they've got the moules frites down cold. I wish more places would go this route - don't try to be everything to everybody, but instead just perfect a dish or two and do it right every single time.

    One thing I find odd is that it's a brasserie, and they brew their own beer - but not a single mussel preparation on the menu is made with beer (they're all made with wine). If I'm drinking their excellent blonde beer with the meal, I'd just as soon match the sauce with it. They will prepare them with beer if you ask, so it's not a problem - I'm just surprised it's not a menu choice.

  5. Love Brugge! Not a mussel eater, but the savory crepes are very good, too (if you're going that route).

    I try and go with enough people to justify getting "l'enorme" frites mostly to get the 11 dipping sauces. Love love love those frites. The pesto and the aiolis are my favorites.

  6. I'm another vote for the Red Curry Mussels. While I like all of them, the Red Curry is by far my favorite. There is another one that comes with Pearl Onions that are absolutely delicious!

    As for the sauces, go with a lot of friends and get the L'Enorme as recommended by the previous comment.

    And for any beer drinkers out there, the Tripel De Ripple is my favorite beer in the city!

  7. I wish I could recommend a particular style but I order based on my mood.

    But we really like this place because they use sweet, fresh, normal sized mussels instead of those nasty frozen ones.

    Moules, frites and a glass of wine - pure heaven.

    Disgruntled Foodie

  8. The saffron mussels are no longer made.

    Try the Citron mussels.

    Try the poplar syrup and French Dijon dipping sauce (that's one sauce, not two) and the horseradish.

    The endive salad dressing is a raspberry lambic and dried cherry vinaigrette, fyi (you'll often see cherry chunks in it, so it's more cherry than raspberry).

    There is beer in lots of the food. The carbonnade stew, the meatballs braised in wit (aka White), etc.

    Crepes, in this order - pork, duck, artichoke.

    And you can't go to Brugge without drinking a Tripel. Seriously, just try it. You don't have to be a beer drinker to like Tripel. Just don't plan on driving afterward if you're a lightweight - there's a reason for the limit of two.