Healthy and Sane

Birthday celebration at Mooo (restaurant review)

August 28th, 2010 · 18 Comments · Boston, restaurant reviews

Ok, now that we got pickles out of our system (oh wait, just me?), let’s talk a little about steak houses, more specifically Mooo – the place Adam chose to celebrate his birthday this year (and also 3 years ago). Mooo is located in the XV Hotel in Beacon Hill and has a very modern vibe. It’s definitely not your traditional stuffy suit-dominated steak house. I kind of think of it as an upscale restaurant that happens to specialize in grass-fed steaks. :) The little grass pots decorating each table are reminders of the latter.

It was pretty dark in there, but I managed to snap a few decent photos; they may not be raiser sharp but I think they look more intimate (and natural) this way. Hello, birthday boy! <3

We decided a long time ago that we are not knowledgeable enough about wine to spend too much money on it; I’d rather spend a little extra on the meal. I let Adam choose a bottle for us and he ordered the cheapest one – Rock & Vine cabernet blend. It was a little sweet, kind of like table wine. Very drinkable but not exactly refined. The price was right though. 😉

As much as Adam loves steak houses, the two things he couldn’t stop talking about after our last trip to Mooo were lobster bisque and Mooo’s bread rolls. I believe these are brioche buns – so buttery, soft and warm. Yum!

Adam ordered just that for his appetizer. I chose a lighter starter – arugula, lemon, parmesan, and oven cured tomato salad

I enjoyed the freshness of the salad – it was very lightly dressed, letting the peppery arugula and sharp parmesan stand out. The oven cured tomato was basically a sun-dried tomato made in the oven (I know, a very technical description but I bet you know exactly what it tasted like now, right?). I didn’t care for the bread sticks – they were tasteless and stale. No worries, I was happy to eat my 2 little brioche buns. :)

It’s funny how certain places can send you straight back to a different time in your life. Adam said the second he stepped in Mooo, he immediately was transformed to our lives 3 years ago – we just recently got engaged and moved to Boston. It was all good memories. We really enjoyed just relaxing and reminiscing, while waiting for our entrees.

I didn’t order steak. I had every intention of doing so but the scallops “spoke” to me and Adam assured me that it was ok (I thought maybe it was a bit lame not to order steak at a steak house). Seared sea scallops, Georgia corn, chanterelles, whipped potato

Scallops, mushrooms and corn are a fabulous combo. This dish was (by-the-book) perfectly executed – the scallops were moist on the inside and perfectly seared on the inside. They were lovely, really. Unfortunately the dish overall was not particularly exciting. I like a little twist to the traditional – a little heat, or maybe a fresh pop of something? I didn’t get that here (although I did take over half of it home and gave the leftovers another life, my style, the next day – details to come in a different post 😎 ).

Adam’s steak with red wine sauce was very good. The truffle fries were even better. I had a few. I loooooove truffle fries.


For dessert, I ordered the chocolate stout cake (dark chocolate cake, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream) to share. The server set up a little special surprise for Adam. He was so surprised in fact, that he forgot to make a wish before blowing the candle. 😯 I made him make a wish later – all is well. :mrgreen:

The cake was… meh. Kind of cold, hard, and not particularly fresh. Tasted like supermarket cake to me. Adam also said the ice cream was icy (I didn’t even touch it). We both picked at the cake for a minute and left the rest. The bus boy was shocked we didn’t want to take the rest home. Sorry, this cake isn’t worth it.

Chocolate covered marshmallows came with the check. We each took a tiny bite and again left the rest. It was nothing special.

Overall, the dinner was lovely. We enjoyed the atmosphere, our waiter was very attentive without being overly eager and annoying and the food (except dessert) was solid (although in my opinion not particularly inventive). We will likely be back… in a few years (for Adam’s birthday?). This is the best steak house in Boston in our experience when you combine quality of food, service and the overall vibe.

How do you feel about steak houses in general? My thesis is that it’s a “guy thing.”

We’re off to continue birthday celebrations at Mohegan Sun!! Adam is like a little kid on Christmas morning right now. 😀


For other restaurant reviews, check out my Restaurant Reviews page.

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Ashley

    Wow great review! Happy birthday Adam haha. I’m sorry the cake wasn’t good, when it’s someones birthday cake should always be the best part! I’m not a fan of steal houses, the past one I went to burnt my fsh and I reordered it and it came back even more burnt! The salad looks good, that’s a long name for sun dried tomatoes. Hope you enjoyed your night!

  • #2 - Tiffany

    My feelings on the procuring, taste, and texture of red meat is well known: homey don’t play that. So while it’s gauche, I never order red meat, even if I’m at a steak house. I get some crazy looks, but I’d rather deal with those than the uncomfortable notions I have regarding the consumption of red meat.

    That’s a bummer about the cake! The picture makes it looks dense, more like a fudge cake. It looks way too heavy for me, but it’s such a waste of perfectly good chocolate :(

  • #3 - Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    I love steak houses, my bf and I often go to different steakhouses for date night. I’m not particularly impressed with Mooo, especially because my favorite place (KO Prime) is just down the street. And let me assure you that it’s not lame to order seafood at a steakhouse! I can’t (and don’t want to) eat red meat as often as my man, so I also order non-steak dishes every now and then. Happy birthday to your hubby!

  • #4 - Michelle

    I love steakhouses! Bret and I are on a mission to try everyone in the city and we treat each other by going to a new one for each of our birthdays! I love the bread at Mooo and their truffle fries are SO good!

  • #5 - Lauren

    I’ve got to check out Mooo for dinner. We’ve been there for brunch, but the dinner items sound so good!

    Although I enjoy steak houses overall, I think they tend to be a bit overrated and definitely overpriced. I like to go occasionally, and usually order a filet mignon for a special treat :).

  • #6 - Shannon

    not a huge steak house fan, but i’ll have to keep in mind as i know dad loves it :)

  • #7 - Laura

    Shame the cake wasn’t very nice….it LOOKS amazing!
    I’ve only ever been to a steakhouse once!xx

  • #8 - Rachael

    A happy birthday to Adam! Chocolate stout cake sounds pretty good, in theory, but when it comes to beer-infused baked goods, I’m always sorely disappointed. Maybe a chocolate port cake would be a better way for chefs to go..

  • #9 - Jessica@tastyandtrim

    Every once in a while I get a craving for a big, juicy steak. In general though, I think that steakhouses present more of a male atmosphere. But I definitely make sure to stop by one when one of my cravings arise!

  • #10 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    I’m not in to steak houses simply because I don’t eat steak. haha

    Truffle fries are majorly incredible though and I always get some when I See them on the menu!

  • #11 - Mary @ Bites and Bliss

    Sounds like a fantastic restaurant! no good about the cake, though. I actually heard restaurants order most of their desserts from the same company that some supermarkets do (unless they happen to have a pastry chef, too) so that might explain why it tasted like a supermarket cake. 😛

  • #12 - Megan

    That salad you had looks like it had to have been incredible. So sorry you were disappointed in dessert. I usually look forward to dessert at the end of my meal, and if the meal has been really good, I expect dessert to be good too. It’s not always the case. Good desserts I’ve had lately have been at Bergamot and Upstairs on the Square if you’re in search of some.

    I love steak and think some steak houses are “a guy thing” but the really nice, upscale ones that don’t just pile a hunk of meat on your plate can definitely be “a girl thing”!

  • #13 - Emily

    Great review!

    Guess what? I love truffle fries. Oh my gosh I do.

    Love the idea of an oven dried tomato.

    That’s disapppointing about the cake. :( It looks good!

  • #14 - Beth @ DiningAndDishing

    I enjoy steakhouses but I feel like the meal is always super heavy, no matter how you order. It would be interesting for someone to do a steakhouse more geared towards lighter appetites. I think I would enjoy a steak meal a lot more if I didn’t end up leaving feeling stuffed!

  • #15 - Jess

    Ok, mouth is officially watering! Now I really wish I tried Moo when we stayed at XV Beacon last winter. GREAT spot, the hotel is amazing isn’t it?

  • #16 - Birthday celebrations continue at Mohegan Sun

    […] Birthday celebration at Mooo (restaurant review) […]

  • #17 - Daisy

    Your Adam is just like my Adam. He’s all about the steak for his birthday dinner. Mooo is an excellent choice!! Their truffle fries are definitley amazing. Good call on getting the cheapest bottle of wine, we do the same thing!

  • #18 - Mistral (restaurant review)

    […] friends) in the beautiful setting of Mistral. This French restaurant is owned by the same group as Mooo, L’Andana, Sorellina and Teatro.  I’ve been to all but the latter. In fact I’ve […]