Photo: Henri Hollis
Photo: Henri Hollis

Learn to make the mussels from Ziba’s in Grant Park 

My family was visiting from Maine and we all fell in love with the mussels in red sauce at Ziba’s Restaurant & Wine Bar in Grant Park. My sister can harvest mussels from beds which are right down the road from her home. She wants to surprise the family with this great dish. Thank you. — Bill Stanhope, Decatur

Marcie Meirndorf, owner of Ziba’s Bistro, says mussels have been a staple of the menu since the restaurant opened. “Not a lot of places serve mussels, and our guests really like them. We offer them with 20 different sauces and the red sauce, or marinara is definitely a favorite.” Indeed you can order mussels with white wine, mussels cooked with beer, bacon, garlic and thyme, mussels cooked with coconut milk and lemongrass or over a dozen more variations. All are served with a toasted baguette and French fries.

Ziba’s Red Mussels

Recipe: Ziba’s Red Mussels
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, sliced
  • 1 quart Prince Edward Island mussels
  • 3/4 cup Red Sauce (see recipe)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ounce Sambuca
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh chopped basil, for garnish
  • In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until they just turn translucent. Add mussels and cover the pot. When the mussels begin to pop open, about 2 minutes, add Red Sauce and cream. Simmer 3 minutes, then add Sambuca. Taste sauce and season to taste. Garnish with basil, if desired. Serve immediately with grilled bread. Serves: 1

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 949 calories (percent of calories from fat, 50), 72 grams protein, 43 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 52 grams fat (18 grams saturated), 241 milligrams cholesterol, 1,722 milligrams sodium.

Ziba’s Red Sauce

Ziba's Red Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (your choice of rosemary, basil and oregano)
  • In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring constantly, until they just turn translucent. Add tomatoes with their juice and herbs. Simmer 1 hour. Using an immersion blender, or in the jar of a blender, puree sauce until smooth. May be refrigerated up to 3 days. Makes: 6 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per 1/4 cup: 33 calories (percent of calories from fat, 32), 1 gram protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 21 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of … Ziba’s Restaurant & Wine Bar, 560 Boulevard SE, Atlanta. 404-622-4440. 

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