[CLOSED at this location] Reopened: Markt II

Belgium seems like a fun country. They love their beer and french fries. I love my beer and french fries. They dig mussels. I have learned recently to dig mussels–dig as in like, not dig as in shovel. Seems like a match made in heaven. Markt helps add to the love affair with its large, dark space, lively crowd and beautiful bartenders. Tables full of early-thirty-somethings speak loudly over their buzzes and tiered mussel trays. The long bar attracts a young, after-work crowd and serves up a bunch of Belgian beers on tap. While it’s not always the easiest thing in the world to get a drink, the people watching couldn’t be any better. We’re not really sure what the basic differences are between French and Belgian cuisines, but they seem awfully similar to us. The difference? French food is usually good. That’s right; with all the praise of the space and the crowd, the food itself was a disappointment. It just seems, I don’t know, shriveled, not robust. The skate was just blah. The mussels were deemed “fair.” The other entrees were “uninspired but passable.” The good part? We were so stinking drunk that everything tasted like Leffe by the time we got half-way through the meal. [MF]

401 W 14th St.