Belgians celebrate their Fête Nationale exactely one week after their French neighbours. Before we moved to Paris, my family and I lived in Lille, France’s fourth largest city with subburbs that include a few towns on the other side of the border, in Belgium. We typically celebrated the holiday either by driving up to Brussels or to one of Belgium’s many beaches with my grandmother who was born in le plat pays. While I can only claim a small Belgian heritage on my father’s side, Belgium is a country that I absolutely adore, where I studied for a while (at the College of Europe in the beautiful city of Bruges) and where I would probably have moved to after graduating from The George Washington University if I hadn’t met my husband and stayed in Washington, D.C.
But I digress… Wednesday July 21st is Belgium’s National Holiday which the French speakers call La Fête Nationale and the Flemish call Nationale Feestdag. Regardless of how you call it, the place to celebrate it in Washington D.C. this week is Brasserie Beck. Strong from their recent win in Saturday’s Mussel-Throwdown at Belga Cafe, Chef Wiedmaier and his team invite you to taste their winning mussels as well as other Belgian dishes at their all-you-can-eat-and-drink (select Belgian drafts) celebration (5-9pm at Brasserie Beck, 1101 k St. NW, $45.) There’s also a slight chance that Wiedmaier’s latest restaurant, Mussel Bar, will have its grand opening that night in Bethesda. That would be pretty good timing!