The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2016 Spring Dining Guide.
Remember when Brasserie Beck was a contender? Me, too. Which makes me grumpy to eat there now, when the supposedly Thai-style steamed mussels taste mostly of crushed peanuts, and the tough, mustard-slapped beef carbonnade makes me pine for Dinty Moore. Oddly creamy steak tartare is clumsily decorated with fried potato skins: chips and a dip that should cease and desist. The kitchen shows occasional glimmers of promise. Why can’t the chef come up with more turn-ons like suckling pig scattered over couscous and frisee, at once decadent and wholesome? The crisp golden schnitzel is reliable, too, punched up with a sauce of anchovies, capers and lemon. On a sunny day, the sidewalk patio on K Street NW still beckons; on a cloudy one, Beck’s counter is a pleasant place to find yourself with a beer in hand — well, provided the bartender is in a good mood. Avoid, if you can, the back of the restaurant. How do you say “Siberia” in Flemish?
→1101 K St. NW. 202-408-1717. brasseriebeck.com.
Open: Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, brunch Saturday and Sunday.
Prices: Lunch entrees $16 to $28, dinner entrees $18 to $37, brunch $15 to $28.
Sound check: 74 decibels / Must speak with raised voice.
Previously (2007): 2.5 stars