Preparing Hopleaf’s signature mussels in beer calls for just a handful of common ingredients and 15 minutes of your time. “They perfectly showcase how good food doesn’t have to be fussy or complicated,” says Brett Coolidge, chef for the Andersonville craft beer bastion. But don’t mistake simple for unremarkable; paired with crusty bread, pints of witbier, and good company, a batch of these bay-leaf-perfumed bivalves feels downright festive.

Hopleaf’s Belgian-Style Mussels in Beer

Makes:2 servings
Active time:5 minutes
Total time:15 minutes

1 Tbsp.Olive oil
2Shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise
1Celery stalk, thinly sliced diagonally
1½ tsp.Finely chopped fresh thyme
2Fresh bay leaves
1½ tsp.Kosher salt
½ tsp.Pepper
2 lb.Mussels, scrubbed and debearded
3 Tbsp.Unsalted butter, cubed
12 oz.Witbier, like Unibroue Blanche de Chambly

1. Heat a medium pot or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over a medium-high burner. Pour olive oil into the pot, swirling to coat. When oil shimmers, add shallots and celery. Toss vegetables to coat in oil and cook them until softened, about 30 seconds.

2. Add thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, mussels, and butter, tossing to combine. Turn heat to high, add beer, and cover the pot.

3. Steam mussels for 2 minutes. Quickly uncover, stir, and replace the lid. The dish is ready when all mussels have opened, 1 to 4 minutes longer. Discard any that haven’t, then pour mussels and broth into a serving bowl.