Sauteed Mussels at Dmitri’s, you’re quite the dish! People have resigned to the fact that to get a bite of you, they’ll have to wait. A while.
Yeah, they can’t get enough of me. I like to take credit for creating those lines outside of this joint and also for keeping New Wave Cafe packed across the street! We send all my fans there for a drink while they wait. And sometimes they wait so long they’re soused by the time they get a table, but that doesn’t stop them from scarfing me down and demanding an encore.
What makes you such a rock star?
Simplicity! No fuss! I’m washed, steamed for 30 minutes, shelled and sauteed with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper for about 15 minutes until I’m brown and crispy. I’m the potato chip of seafood—salty, tender and a bit crunchy—you can’t stop eating. Even folks who whine about mussels—“too chewy!” “too fishy!”—are powerless.
You’re Greek, but Dmitri’s Chef Kau Yang is Laotian—what’s his secret to getting you just right?
There’s no secret—it’s his consistency that keeps people paying to eat me. But I’ll let you in on a little secret of my own: A healthy squeeze of lemon while I’m still hot really brings out the full salty/sweet flavor.
Dmitri’s is BYO—any pairing suggestions?
A good choice is always a light-citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, which goes great with me and any of the seafood dishes on the menu.
The menu is set up so diners can have several small plates. What’s your dream team?
Start with the hummus and baba—you’ll need extra pita—plus the feta and olives. Then my tasty rival, grilled octopus. Plus the perfectly spicy, shrimp pil pil. And me, of course. Once you’ve sheepishly asked for round six of your pita basket and scraped every morsel from your teeth—that’s when I’ll get my encore.
Dmitri’s, 795 S. Third St. 215.625.0556.
Dinner with Luke Palladino