Master the art of mussels eating with this handy guide from The District Brasserie.

With a seemingly daunting shell that needs to be split, opened and removed and a hands-on approach that risks you looking less-than-classy at the dinner table, it’s safe to say that mussels haven’t always been the easiest food to crack. But luckily, The District Brasserie is here to help. With flavours like blue cheese and bacon, red curry, and a beer-Chorizo-tarragon combination, the North Vancouver spot knows a thing or two about making (and eating) this traditional Belgian dish.Ahead, they share their guide to chowing down on those juicy morsels like a pro—and how to look good while doing it.Match your drink with your flavour selection.Working with a white wine or beer sauce? Sip on a glass of the same to ensure a balance of flavours and avoid overwhelming the delicate mussel characteristics.Inspect the dish.When it comes to eating mussels, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If a shell is still closed after cooking or the mussel is dark in colour and shrivelled, it’s best left untouched.Go fork-less.To really look like an ace (and impress your dining companions), use an empty shell like tweezers to pry out the juicy morsel within. Use the lid of the pot provided to discard your empty shells and drink down the remaining broth.Sop up the sauce.In Belgium, it’s unheard of to have mussels without patat friet. These short, crunchy fries are packed with flavour and seasoned with paprika and chili. At The District, mussels come with patat friet, garlic tarragon mayo and two pieces of grilled bread to sop up the remaining sauce.