“The mussels here are my pride and joy,” says Chef Thomas Wittich. “Being from Long Island, fish is what I grew up with and mussels were always my favorite. If the sauce is great, then the mussels are great!”
The Dish: Mussels at Bistro Citron
What’s in It: this bistro offers mussels prepared with five different flavors: pernod with a touch of cream; mariniere with white wine and garlic; provencale with tomato, garlic and basil; basquaise with chorizo sausage, tomatoes and peppers; picante with tomato and harissa (a north African hot sauce)
Chef Wittich prepares the basic mussel dish mariniere style by sautéing shallots and garlic until browned and then adding mussels together with white wine, chicken stock, butter and herbs. Other ingredients are added to create the other flavors.
How’s it Taste: There are lots of mussels and the sauce defines the dish. Pernod brings the anise/licorice flavor, picante has a bit of a bite from the harissa and basquaise contains the addition of sausage.
Each preparation takes on the flavor of the additions. The best taste comes when you sop up the sauce with the crusty French bread from Tom Cat bakery.
Sides: When they say all-you-can-eat, they mean it. One guest went through 10 orders at one sitting, two of each kind. All you need is bread and a glass of wine.
Cost: one pot of mussels – $19.95; no sharing, please.