This year, a group of mussels fans, Chicago Originals, organized their seventh annual Mussel Festival. Chefs from around the Chicago area flexed their culinary mussels, making recipes like Prince Edward Island Mussels with Gold Tequila Cream (Co Si Na Grill in Andersonville) and Polynesian-influenced Mussels Piña Colada with Fresh Pineapple, Coconut Milk and Key Limes (May St. Café). French chef/restaurant owner Didier Durand worked overtime during the festival, creating a different mussels recipe for each of the two restaurants he owns and operates in the city. At Cyrano’s Café on the River Walk, Durand accented Tony Blair Prince Edward Island Mussels with wine, cream and a duo of brie and Stilton cheeses. But Durand’s even more flavorful recipe, which was offered during the festival at his Cyrano’s Bistrot & Wine Bar in River North, was Mussels a la Moroccan: Dutch Royal Narragansett Bay Mussels with merguez sausage, grilled fennel, tomato, ricard and cream. The Moroccan-style mussels were a favorite during the two-week-long festival.
546 North Wells
Best of Chicago 2011