Monday, June 4, 2012

Mooo, Beacon Hill, Boston

There is a certain quiet elegance that encases downtown Boston. Unlike the hustle and bustle of New York, or the laid back beauty of LA, Boston is subtle, sophisticated and yet, commanding. It is a town of strong ideals, historic culture, overwhelming pride and a pretty awesome sense of humor.  It is only logical that in the very heart of the city, a restaurant would exist that would celebrate these very ideals. 

Mooo sits in the historic XV Beacon hotel, originally built in 1903 and situated at the very crest of Beacon Hill, next door to the grandeur of the current State House.  Mooo is touted as a contemporary take on the classic steakhouse, but I believe it is so much more. Its dining room oozes of the same understated elegance of the city itself, and its private function room, a gorgeous wine cellar is steeped in the history that this city is known for.  With wine bottles salvaged from ship wrecks, and long lost vintages, it is worth a trip for the curious eye...

The ambiance of Mooo is anything but a classic steakhouse- here the dark undertones have been elevated into lighter tones, and a generally airy feel.  The often overwhelming chandeliers have been muted with large shades, making them feel cozier.  The artwork is the real statement here.  Up close and personal images of friendly cows decorate the walls, adding just a bit of scandal to this steak house.  

The staff is extremely knowledgeable of their menu, inclusive of wine lists, and after welcoming me in, balanced the perfect line of social and leaving me to investigate their flavors.

I began my meal with their Tuna Tartar.  A perfectly formed disc of large chunks of tuna, lightly tossed with chives, and then placed in a moat of citrus ginger dressing and topped with earthy micro greens was set in front of me.  Very little salt was used in this dish and that was a wonderful decision by the chef.  The tuna was a pure flavor, and when mixed with a little chive or the ginger citrus dressing variations were formed, which kept the dish interesting.  The simplicity of this rendition made it one of the best I've had-it was difficult to put my fork down.

I always have difficulty choosing which steak I want to indulge in when I visit steakhouses, however the staff at Moo made my decision simple as I selected their Painted Hills New York Sirloin.  This was a 14 oz grass and grain fed steak from the Painted Hills, a collaborative ranch out of Wheeler County in Oregon.  I paired this with their Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes and their B&B Mushrooms.

The B&B Mushrooms were button mushrooms sauteed and served in a brandy and butter sauce.  These were some of the plumpest, juiciest mushrooms I've had the pleasure of enjoying.  However, I did feel that the brandy had been applied with a bit of a light hand and it's punch of flavor wasn't felt in the side dish.  

The potatoes, on the other hand, had wonderful flavor with notes of butter and cream circulating throughout them, and perfect texture stemming from the whipping of real potatoes.  The flavor here was also pure, without the addition of too much salt, and with just a small smattering of chives on top to vary the flavor when desired.  

The steak, above all, was a piece of artwork.  Served with a bone marrow butter as a simple accompaniment, the flavor of the steak stood well on it's own. The beauty of the grass fed beef is the more delicate flavors that are found- the light hints of sun drenched grass and healthy grains.  Moo seasoned and cooked this steak beautifully, a perfect medium rare was found on the inside.  I found that the butter wasn't at all needed, though I did love its visual affect, served in a bone.  

Though I knew dessert would be overdoing it, I was talked into trying their Banana's Foster (they really had to twist my arm on that one).  An ample size boat filled with scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream with bruleed banana halves in between was set in front of me, and then, table side, the steaming hot sauce was poured over the top.  Rich scents of butter and sweet banana wafted immediately to my nose and as I dipped my spoon into a sphere of ice cream and caught some of the sauce- the flavors were bright and delicious.  I really enjoyed the bruleed bananas-their crisp top provided a lovely textural contrast to a traditional dessert.

Mooo was an absolute delight, and I must thank them for having me in to explore their menu.  Their dishes are put together with attention to details, and obvious pride in their ingredients.  They do not feel the need to add salt or seasoning where it isn't needed, but instead have faith that the ingredients they have chosen are of the highest quality.  Mooo is definitely doing steak right, and is a wonderful place to celebrate the beauty of Boston.         


In and Around Town said...

I have been to Moo... once for dinner and loved it! Great atmosphere and menu

Anonymous said...

I'm not into cow (mooo) but tuna sounds interesting.
Nice blog...

Kristen said...

I love Mooo and have not been in years! this reminds me I need to go back!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

My husband had those mushrooms at moo and loved them! Your posts is a great reminder to return!

Celeste Hopkins (NYC) said...

Great writeup! I'll have to keep this place in mind for when I'm back in town. :)

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