Growlers in Bella Vista, you don’t even need this undignified maneuver, because the rich broth is stocked with so many caramelized leeks and chunks of chorizo, it’s almost like a stew. After you snap up all the shellfish - and there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch - the remaining liquid and bits are a second meal in themselves, complemented by two huge slices of crusty grilled bread.
Chef Jerry Donahue recently swapped out the beer he uses to steam the mussels - the previous one was making the broth too bitter. He now includes Allagash White in the mix, and the result is a sweet base that’s a perfect foil for the salinity of the mollusks. There are several other worthy bar snacks at this new pub from Starr-alum Jay Willard and Midtown Village proprietor Jason Evenchik (Vintage, Time, Bar). The housemade potato chips are light and not greasy, and the wings are especially notable - opt for the secret recipe house sauce, which tastes kind of like a chipotle sweet and sour (267-519-3242).