Brasserie Beck

BA SCORE
97
world-class

58 Ratings
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
Ratings:
58
Reviews:
41
Avg:
4.45
pDev:
8.76%
 
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 41
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.3/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

So we're in DC, see, and I'm so glad to be out of the dirty smoker's smoky car; I swear he was lighting every cigarette with the end of the one before it. Functional navigator, I, led us easily unto the hotel, where Phil changed, man, he changed. Now, ready for the out and about, Brasserie Beck is my clear idear of where dinner should be had (I don't arrive with the not know). I liked Odelay and thought Mutations and Sea Change were awesome, so I'm hoping Beck put that kind of care into dinner...

We were told there'd be (like) a half hour's wait for a table, although the outdoor patio was not at all jammed (you could have put us out there, fuckers). So we bode our time at the bar just off the entrance; marble topped, "J" shaped with a foot rail and seating for a dozen + but loses some space on the end to a raw bar display case and standing room only on the tail. 2 round towers of 4 each along the bar and a straight job in the center, angled, looking like the head of a giant bottle opener. Booze on the barback counter below shelved glassware over tortoise shell mirroring, some wines displayed above and brewery logo imprinted angled mirrors atop in a row. TV's behind the bar in the corners and a big colorful bright mural on the end. A communal table sits just off the bar and a pair of hightops in the corner.

Big cavernous open space, high ceilings, block tile floorings, drawn curtains on the lower ½ of the walls of windows, framed white inner walls over wood lowers & trim, drop spinning top lamps in rows above, exposed ductwork throughout, and large clocks mounted here and there. Just past the bar and coffee station is a pretentious "everybody look at me" center open area to the large wrap around kitchen behind glass. Meh. Seating in small nooks with 3 or so tables each up front, and then carved out into larger sections; 6 here, and 6 more around the divider in the far corner. The main dining area further in holding more than a dozen tables in 3 rows; to the rear there a wall of wine bottles on their sides behind glass, these views of the wine room. And a sizable, banquet room, no, rooms, just past there.

18 taps in all; 11 inside (Gouden Carolus Tripel, Palm, Bavik Pils, Houblon Chouffe, Kasteel Rouge, Delirium Tremens, Bacchus, Leffe Brune, Wittekerke, Klokke Roeland, DogFishHead Raison D'etre), and a weaker list of 7 out on patio (Stella, Hoegaarden, Leffe Blonde, Campus Pils, Brigand, Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor, St Louis Framboise). A comfortable Belgian selection save the oddball Raison D'etre. Phil drank the Klokke Roland, said it's the Gouden Carolus without the caramel, I don't know what he's talking about. All I know is its 11% and its got a sweet burn is all I know. I drank the Bacchus, their Flemish Sour Red, a Thurston Howell III tribute beer made exclusively for them by Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck (yes, the Kasteel people), or so the story goes and that story is actually fiction as Bacchus has been spotted out and about the country (Did you think we wouldn't notice?)

And still waiting for our table, I had some time to peruse the bottle list. Nearly 100 selections, the list broken out by style, roughly 4/5 of them Belgians, and the remainder mostly Belgian style (Brooklyn Local 1 & 2, Allagash Black, Koningshoeven La Trappe Dubbel to round out the Trappists sans the Westie, a pair from Unibroue, 6 French offerings, and 3 strange German guests in this Belgian house). And is it just me or are some of these bottles over the top pricey? $41 for the '05 Cantillon Iris, $40 for the De Ranke Kriek, $35 for the Allagash Black, $14 for a Rochefort 10, and I do recall the draft prices to be a bit absurd, as well.

I'm all messed up menuwise; I don't know what to do. Starters, I was on the fence between the lamb sausage and pea soup with veal cheek meatballs; the lamb sausage wins, served with lentils & frisee. Phil ordered the duck sausage special app, so we split the two (the lamb was the better of the two), and Belgian Frites with a mayonnaise trio for the table; I don't remember which of the three I liked the best but I recall the curry mayo being not it. For the Entrée, it was going to be the Beef Carbonnade Stew with Kasteel beer, until I spotted the Duck Congolese Almondine, and that was that. The duck duck goosed up with a sauce of goodness and served with raisin & black currant couscous, and crazy, and I don't know what, but it was just excellent. From now on, I Almondine everything. So, so, so very glad I bagged the Carbonnade. Phil went with the soft shell crab for his Entree, very good but not as all that as the duck, 'cause, well, really now, duck.

Service was very good, friendly, helpful, lively, and knew beer. Great food and some very good drink, just not a Belgian real deal feel. The place is forced, corporate, and lacks personality. It screams of tries too hard and shouldn't have to. I know you know what I mean.

 4,925 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of zonker17
4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.75

Went on a slow Sunday night. Only 12 Belgian drafts is a bit limiting and about half of them Belgian standards. Still no issue finding something to drink. High ceilings and beautiful interior. Extremely warm service. Excellent food. Had the steak tartar which was top notch and the Croque Madame that was herbed wonderfully.

 324 characters

Photo of VABA
4/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Kunnskap
2.49/5  rDev -44%
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%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of KWolf
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of CB2maltygoodness
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of milk93rd
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Monteiro
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of srletend
3.75/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of freimuth
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of ONUChaser
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Philby11111
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of speedvagen
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of seanchai
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Thirsty2383
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of polopaul20
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of wahnee86
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
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
4.68/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

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 +3.4%
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 +2.9%
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%
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

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Brasserie Beck in Washington, DC
4.45 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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