Pretty much any time Moules Frites are on a restaurant menu, I order them. I fell in love with this combo of buttery, winey, garlicky mussels and French fries in France with Jeff in 1999. Usually I'm disappointed when I order it now. Either the mussels are too big and chewy or the broth is mediocre. But a few weeks ago our neighbors invited us to a dinner on their deck and our other neighbors made mussels (with buttery toasty bread) and they were AMAZING. The combination of the last-minute invitation, no expectations, warm weather and neighborly vibe made it a lovely surprise night for us. We hung out, watched all the kids play in the yard, drank crisp white wine and enjoyed the early spring sun. Plus! There was a fabulous cheese platter and bacon onion tart that I ate my weight in before the mussels were even served. And then after the kids went to bed, there were humongous chocolate milkshakes.
Since we contributed absolutely nothing to this lovely evening, I'm scheming to host a dinner of our own to thank our neighbors in June. What would you serve to a big group for a casual evening? Maybe we can do pizza on the BBQ?