Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Cock & Bowl"

Ate at a WONDERFUL little restaurant in Occoquan last night called "Cock & Bowl".  Recently opened by Michael and Jacquie, a young couple who spent a good amount of time traveling through Europe, and had a vision of one day opening up their very own restaurant with just that name,  it was cozy, inviting, refreshing, flavorful, enjoyable, and for the time that I was there,yes, I felt as if I were sitting in a little Bistro somewhere in the Benelux Region (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg) of Europe.

It was a beautiful night, and while the desire was to sit outside on the charming little brick patio, accompanied by an accordian player, the tables were all full.  Michael suggested that my friend and I start out in the "Beer Cafe" while we waited, and personaly escorted us to our table. 

The "Beer Cafe" consisted of 5 little tables situated just inside the front doorway, and it was indeed where all of the beers were kept - 30+ different varieties of Belgian beers displayed in a clear glass refrigerator.   As we sat at our two person, cozy little table, we ordered  a nice, cold, golden, Belgian beer that was served up in a glass, but presented with the bottle.  Very quickly, our hunger took over, and we decided to forgo the wait to sit outdoors, and enjoy our meals in the charmingly decorated room where we were. 

We started out with an order of Belgian Pommes Frites (french fries), golden, HOT, and crispy on the outside, with a side of mayo.  Something about eating them as "frites" and with a side of mayo made them seem much more appealing.  They were quite satisfying and good.

For dinner, we both ordered the steamed mussels, as that is their specialty.  They serve them up in a bowl, six different ways.  Mine were resting in a white wine, lemon, butter sauce, along with sweet shallots and parsley, or would you rather them like my friend ordered,  in a creamy broth filled medley of tomatoes, anisette, and fennel?   Both orders served with a side of pull-apart bread in which to soak up the wonderfully fragrant and flavorful sauces.  The mussels were ..................delectable. 

Though we were tempted to try the Belgian waffles for dessert (we will save it for another time), the scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with homeade strawberry sauce caught my eye, and by request, they served it with a side of their homeade pecan brittle.  Yum.  Neither the strawberry sauce, nor the brittle were overly sweetened, so you could taste and appreciate their natural ingredients. 

The entire meal?  DELICIOUS.

It was a pleasure eating at "Cock & Bowl" last night.  Not only for the WONDERFUL food, but it is so satisfying to see someone as charming and passionate as Jacquie and Michael, be able to turn a vision into a reality.  We were greeted with warmth and personality, fed a mouth-watering meal, using only fresh ingredients, and when we were done, like visiting family or close friends, we did not want to leave.

We will definitely be back to visit Jacquie and Michael at "Cock & Bowl", and "kudos" to Chef Bryan, as well.  It is apparent that the owners and the chef all share the same vision of what they want the restaurant to be, and together, I believe, they will do quite well.  I could not be happier for them.

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