Thursday, May 22, 2014

Does Mooo ‘Stake’ Its Claim amongst Boston’s best steakhouses?

Located in Beacon Hill adjacent to the XV Hotel, Mooo is a modern steakhouse from restauranteur extraordinaire Jamie Mammano, whose Columbus Group company runs the equally opulent, well-regarded restaurants including Mistral, Sorellina, L’Andana, and its newest arrival – the ultra-extravagent, ultra-expensive seafood-oriented Ostra.

Mooo’s interior, while warm (off-white and beige tones) and sheek (chandeliers framed in large amber shades), possesses all of the traits that make you well aware that you’re dining in a steakhouse (pictures of calves, giant armchairs) and here to consume what else, but steak?

Prices here are as exorbitant as in other steakhouses around town, if not a bit more so. If you’re dining on a budget, however, take advantage of Mooo’s 3-course, $25 prix fixe lunch menu, quite possibly one of the best values in the city.

We start with a nicely seasoned appetizer of steak tartare. The hand-cut beef is thick and meaty, unlike more traditional, thinly-sliced versions I’ve sampled, and can be stacked atop four miniature warmed, grilled pieces of flatbread. My 12 oz. New York sirloin strip is again well-seasoned, but sadly, is dry and a tad overcooked (it is served medium to well, as opposed to medium rare). Fortunately, a nicely balanced, unique, and quite potent cocktail comprised of Liquor 43 (vanilla flavor) and whiskey eases my disappointment, as does a delectable dessert of bananas foster, with the bananas beautifully bruleed that crackle against the creamy vanilla ice cream that is layered with additional banana pieces.

Service was adequate, but a bit unpolished, particularly during an extended lull between the main course and dessert.

Overall, Mooo provides good, if somewhat inconsistent food and service. For the 3-course lunch special, it’s well worth trying. Otherwise, if you’re there to order $45-$60 steaks and demand top-notch cuisine and service, it may not quite be worth ‘moooing’ home about.

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