Mussel Fest!: Morels at The Grove in Los Angeles

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I haven’t been going to the gym at all lately, but I’ve been getting my dose of mussels in regularly!

I’ve loved mussels my entire life but lately, I’ve been craving them more than usual. They’re easily my favorite shellfish, and I love a good broth sauce to dip bread and/or fries in. I discovered that Morel’s French Steakhouse & Bistro (located at The Grove in LA) has Mussel Fest, an exclusive mussel-filled menu being served now through Feb. 9th (also being served at Market City Caffe in Burbank). I popped in to flex those mussels of mine, and I am only hurting in the best way from this foodie workout!

Morel’s French Steakhouse & Bistro
Located in The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90036
http://morelslv.com

The Mussel Fest menu offers many different mussels from Prince Edward Island (aka PEI mussels). PEIs are grown along the coasts of Prince Edward Island, Canada which is just off the coast of Nova Scotia. These mussels are plump in size and juicy in flavor.

Morels have their own brewery in Burbank (Verdugo West Brewery), so I decided to pair their Wax Wing (4.5%), blonde lager with the Mussel Fest items. This is the perfect “pairs well with all flavors” kind of pint; I highly recommend it.

For those of you who love a classic mussels dish, steamed with white wine, I recommend their Neapolitan Style Mussels. These mussels are steamed with Trebbiano wine, garlic, onion, celery, fresh Roma tomato, red pepper flakes, oregano and lemon juice. It comes with garlic crostini to dip it in. The sauce is fragrant, brothy and delicious with the crostini dipped in.

Neapolitan Style Mussels

The Mussels & Saffron are perfect for those of you who love a creamier base. The saffron is very present and has a floral fragrance that you can smell when the dish arrives. The creamy sauce itself is more savory and buttery. Notes of garlic and shallots give it a flavorful boost.

Mussels & Saffron

Mussels & Spicy Italian Sausage

The Mussels & Spicy Italian Sausage are perfect for those who like to get a little more experimental with their flavors. These are steamed with a white wine and tomato broth, Sambuca Romano, fennel, garlic and spicy Italian sausage. The fennel game is strong on this dish; it’s robust from the tomato, and it’s very meaty. Not expected, but very delicious.

My favorite dish was the Italian Mussels & Pasta. The broth base is white wine, garlic San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil and hot peppers. Then the mussels are topped with linguine pasta (my all-time favorite pasta), that is topped with bread crumbs and anchovies. I know anchovy isn’t for everyone, but it’s a fishy flavor that’s grown on me over the years. It’s also rare I see mussels paired with a starch that isn’t bread or fries. The linguine soaks up the broth beautifully.

Italian Mussels & Pasta

Mussels Fest is only available for a limited time, so be sure to get into Morel’s while you can!

Julianne

Actress and Founder of Girls on Food: I was born and raised in the suburbs of Sacramento, California. I grew up a typical “McDonald’s kid”. I was very picky about what I ate and refused to try new foods. No fun, I know. My Mom started taking me on trips to Europe when I was a teenager and that’s when my palate for finer foods began to develop. Some of my most memorable favorite meals include Veal Bolognese in Rome, Gyros in Athens, Paella in Lisbon and Duck L’Orange in Paris. While this helped me grow out of a fast food phase, I still eat out quite a bit. I know I should be at home cooking, but I love dining out. I started working in restaurants in various front of the house positions at age 15. Since my start, I’ve worked in every casual restaurant setting you can think of: a teriyaki stand, brewery, sushi nightclub, trendy Mexican, family-style Italian, American diner, pizza parlor and even a BLT themed food truck. I can't help but notice that many of the LA food bloggers don't have any sort of background working in a restaurant. A lot of my perspective on food and dining out comes from my years of experience in the biz. Since starting this blog, I have shot appearances on a couple of cooking competition shows as a taster (including MasterChef Junior and another upcoming show). We have also started producing a Youtube Channel. IMDb page here: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2023647/ For this site I contribute content from all over Los Angeles (and the world) to showcase my favorite fine-dining spots, steakhouses, exclusive supper clubs, Hollywood nightlife and our very own #GOFx events, which I plan and coordinate.

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