Brasserie Beck

BA SCORE
97
world-class

40 Reviews
Brasserie BeckBrasserie Beck
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

1101 K St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20005-4210
United States

(202) 408-1717 | map
beckdc.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by TuckerCarlson on 11-26-2007

PLACE STATS
Score:
97
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
57
Avg:
4.46
pDev:
8.74%
 
 
Taps:
18
Bottles/Cans:
90
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 57
Reviews by Daniellobo:
Photo of Daniellobo
3.83/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Quite an iconic place, with a great selection of Belgium themed brews, above average food and pricing, and a bit of an unjustified sense of superiority...

After much time thinking that we needed to check out Brasserie Beck we made it for informal lunch on a weekday. The experience in that context is quite incomplete but we enjoyed the opportunity, and it satisfied our curiosity.

The most remarkable of the place is a nicely taken care of beer and wine selection, and a rather pricy one too, often clearly well above of what one would find really reasonable even for a pretentious place to go out to. Regarding beer, the taps fall the taps fall between reliable and exciting with, and the bottled menu offers plenty to chose from, offering fairly adequate descriptions of each brew, with some provocative and enticing offerings. Beer is served in adequate glassware, typically that of the brewery, and commonly the temperature is appropriate. (We tasted a Gouden Carolus Grand Cru that was way too cold but it seemed to be an exception.)

The food, while nice, unfortunately did not reach the expectations that its reputation and pretentious mark would have one believe, at least not around these lunch servings. Visually it worked great, i.e. sandwiches or mussels with a great table presence, but they were really a bit short of tasty or stimulating. Lamb feeling a bit raw and harsh, or mussels also a bit aggressive on the palate with a bit of an undercook assertive seafood sense that ultimately I did not find very palatable. Plenty of better mussels had elsewhere in DC came to mind, not a great sign...

The staff was correct with good service, and not particularly friendly or engaging. And I really do not mind it, but it was quite unremarkable. Nothing about specials, details of brews, what they had to offer. Nil, zip, nada... Luckily the menus were well arranged with sufficient descriptions.

The design of the space tries to offer a modern brasserie look, with plenty of attention to detail, mixing a lot of contemporary sense with classic touches. For the most part it works fairly well, but next to the predominant patron profile and perfunctory service it also feels a bit cold. Details like the wall paper in the men´s toilets with crisscrossed lower female bodies in lingerie, whereas the ladies´have abstract embroidery instead, are not only in poor taste, but quite outdated if not right away sexist and offensive.

Ultimately the atmosphere around the decor is not bad, but there a corporate and business clientele mixed with downtown tourists and the odd visitor that predominates the landscape and for a good reason. This is really not a place to get a notion of local sensibilities not even as a part of the general mix, and for a few reasons...

All in all Brasserie Beck is a worthy place but not one to be found among top recommendations for beer or food lovers in the district. Pricing, fauna, the food and the decor that really wan to reach you but don´t quite make it, and most importantly the range of solid options in the city on all sides of the spectrum around quality craft beer make the spot a third choice at best. Maybe useful to keep in memory when one needs to suggest a place for that boss - if one has to - , business acquaintance or uppity relative that may match the spot...

 3,329 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Barracudas
4/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Kunnskap
2.49/5  rDev -44.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2

I'm not sure why this establishment has such stellar reviews. I can appreciate a small and carefully crafted tap list, but this place falls flat. If one of the handful of beers they have on draft looks enticing, you might have a hard time getting a bartender to notice you, even if the place is empty. That's ok, you can take in the ambiance of the place while you wait; the old mirrors and clocks are beautiful. However, watch your butt. Literally. The seats are made from a pretty, weaved blue and white plastic that (on several stools) were coming undone and poking patrons in the rear or snagging their clothes. I'll walk a couple blocks to Maddy's the next time I'm in the area and save my behind AND my wallet.

 716 characters

Photo of DavidHume
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of KWolf
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of CB2maltygoodness
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of milk93rd
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Monteiro
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of srletend
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of freimuth
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of ONUChaser
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Philby11111
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of speedvagen
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of seanchai
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Thirsty2383
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of polopaul20
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of wahnee86
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

While you'll pay a lot, the quality of what you get served can't be beat if you're looking for good Belgian beers. Their Happy Hour specials sometimes contain some real gems, but if you're looking for the best variety, look in their book of beers. The bartenders are generous in letting you sample what's on tap and very knowledgeable about all the options. Take advantage and describe what you like and you're sure to be provided a great beer in the right glass-ware.

 468 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Visited on a Thursday afternoon, after the lunch rush before dinner, the week before Christmas. Only spent time at the bar. A very polished clientle.

Food - I did not sample the food on this visit, but from past visits BB has a very tasty menu, albeit one that can fill you up quickly. What I might consider high quality, but typical brasserie food.

Beer - An excellent selection almost exclusively focused on Belgian beers, both on tap and by the bottle. I did find a Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout, which I ordered since I had never had one before.

The bartender, a young lady in her twentys was very knowledgable. She indicated that she was studying to be a cicerone. It was a pleasure talking beer and an opportunity to learn which I did not pass up. If only all my bartenders were this friendly and knowledgable.

Thursday afternoon also happen to be that time when one of the distributors made his visit to show his new wears. Staff kindly invited me to sit in as the distributor showed off about eight new beers. I was asked my opinion and I gave it. What a wonderful treat!

Very pleased with the BB. It is a regular stop for me when I need a good beer.

 1,173 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I've been here about a dozen times in the past two years and ALWAYS make a visit here on a trip to DC.

This looks and feels like an upscale Brussels brasserie. The food is great, and it is always entertaining to watch the entire kitchen prepare the food in the open. There is a large bar area, with usually about 10 draft beers. They alternate between commercial (Palm) and artisinal (Alvinne), I go for the latter. They have a daily happy hour from 5-7 with half-price beers. Not to be missed.

Great mussels in a bunch of different varieties and superb twice-cooked frites. Good choices of fresh oysters in season, with the seafood chef working right at the bar in full view. Entrees are delicious. I used to come for the rabbit cooked with kriek, but that has unfortunately dissapeared from the menu.

Draft beer choice is limited, but they always have some good beers that are available for happy hour. Some of the draft beers get pricy, such as St. Feuillien blond at $11--you can see how happy hour matters.

Extensive beer menu with bottles to satisfy many a beer connaisseur. Very pricy with a wine markup. A bomber of Stillwater Stateside saison will put you back $27. Lambic choices are rather pedestrian, with St. Louis, Giradin, and Oud Beersel being the only entries. C'mon, get some 3 Fonteinen and Cantillon in there.

 1,337 characters

Photo of DWolf
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Hey, this is DC. Therefore, the price is "reasonable". More importantly, the selection of Belgian beers is top-shelf and the food is good ... and, equally as important, the wait staff is knowledgable. Not much is worse than asking the server about a particular beer and he/she responds, "it's fizzy or I like fruity beers." You won't get that here. If you're a Belgian fan (or a beer fan), stop by, if you are in the area, and you won't be disappointed. Note: BB has an extensive and quality wine list as well.

 510 characters

Photo of malloyca
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Brasserie Beck's focus is on Belgian beer and they have an excellent selection. More importantly, the staff is knowledgeable about the beer list and able to guide you through it to offer suggestions regardless of your familiarity with Belgian beers. The bar is small and gets very crowded. The food is excellent (Beck is a nice restaurant with a great beer list rather than a beer bar with good food) and, because the bar is small and can get very crowded, for the best experience I'd recommend skipping the bar and reserving a table.

 534 characters

Photo of ferrari29
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

What is missing with Brasserie Beck? Nothing. This is my highest rated beer bar and restaurant. I fell in love with Beck the moment I walked in, the atmosphere is up-scale and carries with it a classy (a mix between 'throw back' and contemporary European style) sophistication.
I was impressed with the quality and service of the wait staff. The beer bottle presentation and glass pours were top notch and were presented exquisitely. The attention to detail was great. With an on-site beer sommelier (Thor is the man), you can't go wrong with their trusted advice and perfect food pairing. Their menu is based around a prime choice of mussels, served in various styles from wine and garlic to goat cheese and smoked bacon. Sandwiches are great and the fries were amazing; served with a great selection of dipping sauces. Presentation, texture, flavor, aroma, everything about the food was incredible and delicious.
The draft beer selection is top-notch, my wife had a Antigoon Double Blond Ale and loved it. They also have Klokke Roeland, Straffe Hendrik, Bacchus, Bavik Pils and Kasteel Rouge on draft. Their bottle selection offers many different Belgian based brews ranging from Pilsner, Kolsch, Belgian Style Blond Ales, Belgian Style Amber Ales, Beglian Style Bubbel Ales, Belgian Style Tripel Ales, Belgian Style Strong Golden Ales, Belgian Style Strong Dark Ales, Farm House Style Ales, Red Ales, Sour and Sweet Lambic, IPA, Fruit Beer, Wheat Based Ales, Doppelbock, Stout/Porters, and finish your meal off with a small but perfect selection of Barleywines. I was very impressed and would recommend to others.

 1,617 characters

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Brasserie Beck in Washington, DC
4.46 out of 5 based on 57 ratings.
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