Sunday, December 2, 2007


An interesting name for a restaurant. When answering the phone, do they make sure to pronounce the extra "o"?

Famed Chef Jamie Mammano created the Commonwealth Restaurant Group which owns a number of exciting restaurants, including Mistral (French/Mediterranean bistro), Teatro (casual Italian bistro), Sorellina (regional Italian-Mediterranean cuisine), and L'Andana (Italian grill). They also owned the Federalist which was recently renovated and remade into Mooo, a steakhouse.

I have recently praised L'Andana and it has become one of my new favorite suburban restaurants. So I wanted to check out their other new restaurant, Mooo. I made reservations through Open Table, noting it was my wife's birthday.

We arrived early and sat in the bar to have a drink before dinner. They have a full bar and wine list. I had a glass of Chopin Vodka, which was nice to see as the Federalist had not stocked it for a time. My wife had a Grey Goose martini and thought it was one of the best she had ever had.

The restaurant is brighter and more friendly than the old Federalist. It has an air of casual elegance. It would certainly make a nice date night or to dine with business associates. We were seated and took at look at the menu and wine list.

The style of the menu reminds me of L'Andana. It is a single sheet of paper and has a list of Appetizers Red Meats, Other Selections, Seafood, Accompaniments and Sauces. They have a menu listed on their website but it is different in some ways from the actual menu. There appear to be more choices on the actual menu.

Appetizer prices range from $11-24, Entrees range from $28 to $110, though average around $36. Accompaniments range from $5-16. The choices are quite diverse and there are some innovative choices. Prices seemed about average for a Boston steakhouse. And as most of the dishes are quite good-sized, the prices seem reasonable.

The wine list is extensive though pricey. There are plenty of California Cabernets and French Bordeaux. They do have several wines under $50 a bottle though most are over that amount. Checking on some of their prices, I did find numerous wines that cost about three times the usual retail price. Though there were some wines that were closer to twice the usual retail. I ordered the 2005 Savigny-lès-Beaune, Arnoux Père et Fils ($75), which was an excellent French Burgundy. It had good fruit, a nice silky feel and did not overpower any of our food. Though this wine usually costs around $25 retail.

Prior to our food coming, we received a small black skillet with four hot Parker House rolls. These were fantastic! Hot, buttery, soft and absolutely delicious. And we later got another four of them. A great way to start our meal.

For appetizers, my wife had the Hearts of Belgian Endive and Watercress Salad ($12) with Roquefort cheese, spiced walnuts and a sherry-grain mustard vinaigrette. She very much enjoyed the salad and there was plenty of it. I had the Sushi Grade Tuna ($18) with ginger, citrus, soy and a couple large sesame crackers. I was expecting slices of tuna but instead had what looked like a tuna tartare. There was a large mound of diced tuna mixed with the ginger, soy and citrus. The tuna was very fresh and there was a lot of it. They did not skimp on the portions. The tuna was silky smooth, flavorful and quite delicious. The flavors were well balanced and nothing overpowered any other. An excellent appetizer.

For an entree, my wife had the Tenderloin of Beef Wellington ($44) with Foie Gras, spinach, duxelle and Madeira. This was quite a large piece of very tender beef, in a flaky pastry shell. An excellent dish with lots of flavor. I would definitely recommend this dish. One of the best Wellingtons I have had before.

I ordered the Kobe Beef Sirloin ($110), a 6 oz. sirloin from Japan, the authentic Kobe. Interestingly enough, the website lists the price of this dish at $130. And when I received my bill later, they charged me $120, though they corrected it to the $110 when I pointed out the error. Now, this is actually a very good price for authentic Kobe. It is less than $20 an ounce. I know that other Boston steakhouses are charging at least $30 an ounce so this is a deal. My sirloin was served sliced, and was rare as I ordered it. It was very good, though not exceptional or transcendent. It actually was not as butter tender as expected. I have had such Kobe before and this was not the same. I probably would not order this again though I did enjoy it.

We ordered a side of the Yukon Gold Potato Skins ($10) which have cave aged Gruyere and bacon. But our server misunderstood me and brought us a small Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes. He did put in an order for our Skins but they did not show up until we were about three-quarters through our meal. They left us the small Mashed potatoes and did not charge us for that though we were charged for the Skins. We received three large Potato Skins and they were very good, though just a bit late.

The waiter was aware that it was my wife's birthday. It was good that they had paid attention to my comments when I booked through Open Table. I told him to bring the Butter Pecan Parfait ($10) for my wife for dessert. They put a candle in the dessert when they brought it. The parfait was exceptional, with layers of butterscotch pudding in it. I should note that we were charged for the Parfait. It was not free for her dessert as it is at some restaurants, such as the Capital Grill.

Overall, we had a very good experience with a couple of small issues. I would return to this restaurant and recommend it to others. The food is delicious, portions are large, and service is basically good.

15 Beacon St.
Boston, MA
Phone: 617-670-2515

Mooo in Boston

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