La Moule was in my bucket list for a while, especially since I started blogging on Portland restaurants. We lived in Belgium for 3 years and unfortunately never went to a brasserie. We tried French, Dutch, German food…but never really a true Belgian dish or even the national dish, mussels. In case you didn’t know, Belgium shares its border with France, The Netherlands, and Germany. Therefore, its culture is a great combination of all those 3 countries, especially when it comes to cuisine.
My daughters and I were in La Moule on a Saturday night and made a reservation beforehand on that day. If you are taking someone below 21 years of age, like me, it’s better to go there way before 10pm. They don’t allow minors after 10pm. We weren’t told that when made the reservation for 8:45pm and had to rush to finish it before 10pm. Also, keep in mind, street parking is the only option when you are coming this part of the town.
La Moule is a French inspired artsy bar and bistro located in a small SE Portland neighborhood. This European restaurant has both indoor and patio/outdoor sitting with an eclectic and cozy environment. With its Belgian style frites (fries), national dish mussels/moules, and Liege waffles in the menu, this is a true Belgian brasserie you can experience in Portland, OR. The menu is short, but everything we tried tasted elegant and flavorful. You can find few different kinds of mussels bowls here. But if you are not into seafood, they have steak, burgers, and other seafood dishes.
Now, for our dishes, we ordered baguettes with fancy butter and confited garlic and chicken liver mousse with dijon mustard and pickles. Everything was great in these appetizer plates. If you are not a big fan of liver (or chicken liver), I won’t suggest it for you…it does have a slight aftertaste of liver that my kids couldn’t handle. For main dish, we had Basil Spatzle and Puttanesca moules/mussels. Basil spatzle/spaetzle was a German style pasta dish with corns, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried capers, oysters and lobster. The proportion was perfect for one person and it was very good…sans the corns. This was my young daughter’s favorite one here. I loved the Puttanesca mussels in tomato sauce, anchovy, capers with olive, lemon zest, and basil. Dipping my baguette in the tomato sauce brought back some memories from Europe. To finish off, we had Liege Belgian waffles with cinnamon, sugar, and cream on top.
This was a great culinary experience in a buzzy neighborhood which is already loaded with some other great eateries. But I felt I would only bring people here who have pure elegant and adventurous tongue to try these dishes.