I was curious about the catch phrase for Mo’s—“A place for steaks.” I was wondering why they went with “A place for steaks” instead of “THE place for steaks?” It is almost like they are underselling themselves from the start. But I had heard some decent things about Mo’s, and every so often we like to try another of the steakhouses in town, so we set out.
To start with, I had one of my pet peeve service experiences. We were first seated at a table for 4 right next to a large, rather noisy, group. We asked to be moved to a table for two (there were only two of us) near the window that was a little more intimate. They did it, but only after a slight under the breath sigh. And this place was like 30% full at most. There was no reason we needed to be sat next to such a large group. But once we settled in, we had a nice table and were promptly addressed by our server. There were some slightly lengthy delays in service later however, because our server was also waiting on that big table I mentioned earlier.
We had decided to split a huge ribeye for dinner, and so decided to get a couple of appetizers also. We had the tuna tartare and the “Moysters”’ which are fried oysters over a blue cheese cream sauce with spinach. The oysters themselves were outstanding. They were small oysters that were fried with a very pleasing crunchy crust. They were set on top of a cream sauce with spinach mixed in, that had a few hunks of blue cheese as well. My one complaint is that there wasn’t enough of the blue cheese. The rich oysters with the rich cream sauce were almost too much without a good taste of blue cheese mixed in. When you got a bite of the salty, slightly tangy blue cheese it balanced them. But it was a challenge to find the pieces. But the oysters themselves were perfectly cooked.
Unfortunately, the tuna tartare was not as good. The tuna was mixed with some seasonings like red pepper and some cilantro, but there again, was no acid to really bring out the flavors. I asked for some lemon wedges, which helped a bit, but not enough to make this worthy of being ordered again. This seemed like a dish that no one in the kitchen was tasting for flavor. The tuna itself was decent quality, but it seemed as if it might have been prepared awhile ago, as it held the firm shape of the dish it came out of.
They also brought us a plate of bread with several different types of bread. The best one on the plate was the pretzel bread—there was also some sesame seeded bread and some focaccia. So they served regular butter and a special butter of the day, which in itself is not weird, but on this day it was chocolate butter. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate, but not as a pre-dinner spread for my bread.
Every entrée comes with soup or salad as well and we split the salad. Nothing special going on with their house salad. It was a mix of romaine and iceberg lettuce with a couple slices of cucumber, a couple cherry tomatoes, and a splash of your choice of dressing.
Anyway, for our main dish, we split the 20 ounce bone-in ribeye as well as the “The Baumann” which is Mo’s “signature double baked potato” and the creamed spinach which is hubby’s must have at any steak house. The steak was Mo’s “signature steak.” It was cooked properly medium rare but was a little dry for me (the picture is only half the steak). I like a really juicy steak and while this one had nice flavor, I have had a lot of better ribeyes elsewhere. I did like the fact that they did not put any kind of sauce or demi glace on the plate with the steak. We really enjoyed the creamed spinach—it was a very unique steakhouse take on creamed spinach. It was fresh spinach leaves that were cooked in a bit of cream and had some breadcrumbs on top. The spinach was not cooked so much that you couldn’t recognize each individual leaf, and the fresh spinach flavor came through. The breadcrumbs were nice and toasty and added a nice diversion from just plain creaminess of everything else. The potato was a twice baked potato with scallions and bacon and lots of cheese on top. It was good, but a little went a long way. We had a side of Béarnaise sauce (you can get several sauces complimentary) and I liked dipping a bite of the steak and potato in there to give it a little tanginess.
All in all, Mo’s is "a place for steaks." One of many in this town, and unfortunately, doesn’t really stand out in my mind for anything. While some things were good, in just about every case, I could think of somewhere that does them slightly better.
47 South Pennsylvania