Saturday, April 19, 2008

Moxie's Schmoxie's

Moxra's (East Beaver Creek)

Have you ever been to a really nice place, I mean, chic decor, packed with people, good music, and just a good all around vibe? These places are rare and have a certain charm, to go along with that atmosphere that we all seek every weekend.

Then you get your food. You take a bite and realize what you're really paying for- and it's not the food, that's for sure. How does such an establishment pack their seats nightly and yet serve sub-par tastings with mismatched themes, juxtaposed flavours with unprecedented pairings, and not to mention the bushiest of all the bushy cut(h)s of meat, that I wouldn't even feed my dogs?

Venturing into Markham/Richmond Hill's commercial culinary haven, not to mention the only local place to really dine...(please Markham we can't always go downtown to get a decent meal) brought us to the one and only East Beaver Creek. This epicentre of mainstream eats is a place that is always changing, with household names such as Alice Fazooli's, Marlowe (no headgear allowed), NAVA (formerly Rocky Mountain High), Honest Lawyer, Fox & The Fiddle, just to name a few...The rest change so frequently we can't keep up. Others include Carnival Brazilian Grill (don't eat there), Destiny, Spices, and other no-name establishments I'm very hesitant to venture into.

The name Moxie's is one that is known by everyone and loved by some. Definitely great for drinks or cocktails after work, or birthdays and special drink. I really can't advise you to go there to eat. Mind you, they do have some decent apps, but when it comes to meals, 1/6 ain't that good.

You're paying for atmosphere, and nothing else.

I love the way this Moxie's is decorated...with high ceilings, circularly-enclosed booths and nice wooden tables. The light fixtures and chandeliers boast an upper-class, downtown-ish feel, and a huge open-concept bar stocked with the one and only Appleton's Rum definitely is a plus for us. Their patio is contained and their waiting area boasts comfy leather couches. The attention to detail in Moxies is first class, and the ambiance is surely one that anyone would love. It can get a little dark, but that's part of the atmosphere I presume. Although, our table area was very congested, and many servers/busboys created a high traffic area by our table.

To start, we ordered a Sizzling Shrimp Skillet, and a Goat Cheese dip with toasted bread (naan?). The dip was great, however there were not enough dipables. As for the Shrimp, they floated to us in a pool of butter, which made for a bit of an oily dip. Nothing spectacular.

The speed was there for delivery of our apps, about 10 minutes after we ordered. Next, the mains...
Moxie's menu is quite vast, although I'm still scratching my head wondering which direction their menu theme is going...Anything from salads to sandwiches to steaks to various curries, stir-frys and traditional pastas made it difficult to decide. Nothing really stood out to me, and everything seemed so generic that I was left wanting more from this global menu.

We ordered:
2 10oz Striploins- worst cut of meat I have ever had. Although the server was very careful to verify they way we wanted our steaks done, gave a slight impression that they may know what they were doing. But just because the steak was cooked right doesn't help the fact that it was a shitty cut of meat. AAA prime should not taste like that. One medium rare was so chewy we couldn't even cut through it. The other steak ordered Medium well was so tough with no pinkage in the middle. But then again, you can't expect to get a good steak anywhere but a steakhouse. They were warned. Imagine if they got the sirloin?

1 Cannelloni- by far the worst Cannelloni I have ever tasted. I hate to bash food and restaurants because it makes me seem like a picky SOB, but honestly the filling, which was supposed to be ricotta, tasted like old, mashed up sock. Dry as hell, flavourless and just outright crappy.
Should have gone with the tenders & fries, I think the server was trying to hint it.

1 Beef Vindaloo Curry- Meh. Why am I served a curry, on rice (sticky at that, not basmati, and 1 clump) and then also given naan pieces? How much carbs can one person eat. The curry was flavourful, with green and red peppers, and drizzled with yogurt. Some of the strips of beef were tender, and some were tough. Probably from some one's leftover striploin. I wasn't really satisfied, but am I ever? Shouldn't have trusted the recommendation!

1 Gourmet Pizza- this looked pretty good, although I did not sample it, I didn't hear any complaints...which means it must have been decent.

1 Atlantic Salmon with wild rice- no complaints about this one either, the salmon was seasoned well, I was informed. However this diner rarely dislikes his food, so this may sway his decision, as always.

The service here was quick, we got our food in a very timely fashion, and our waiter was quite friendly. Nothing to complain about here, although it did take him a while to take our order. It was busy though so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Price wise, everything on the menu was reasonable, the steaks being the most expensive, at 28.95 each. They should have cost 10.95.

All in all, our experience was fair at best:

Decor- 5/5: Definitely a nicely structured restaurant, everything fits perfectly and there is a nice divide between bar-area and dining area. Attention to detail was key to Moxie's success, classy and trendy.

Food- 1/5: Not good. 1.5/6 meals we ordered were bushy, 1/2 apps were good. This is not good. Maybe Moxie's should try and stick with one theme instead of venturing into cross-country dishes. In order to be successful as a restaurant, one must focus on one thing and do it proper. From there you can dabble a bit in this and that. You can't offer the world and do each one shittily (word?). It's nice to have a variety of menu items, but not if each one doesn't fit. They should stick to salads, sandwiches and simple apps. I'm sure they can't mess that up...I hope.

Service- 3.5/5: Nothing to really complain about, taking our order took longer than it did to get our food, which is odd, and doesn't say much about how they are preparing our food. Where's the love? I'm almost positive that Moxie's utilizes frozen, pre-packaged goodness supplied from that of SYSCO or some other second-tier supplier. Come on Moxies, at least use fresh produce, trust me, people can tell.

Price- 2.5/5: Our total came to $240, I know, including 3 drinks, 1 bottle of wine and tip. I know we're paying for their high rent and for the high-class decor, but still...when it comes down to it, I'd rather pay for good food in a shithole than vice versa. But that's just me.

OVERALL: 2.5 STARS out of 5

Not much more I can say about Moxie's, but if they ever see me again, it'll definitely be just for drinks, and maybe, just maybe, an appy. Good Day. I said good day.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

i'm off moxies, huge.

i'm curious: who's the diner that rarely dislikes his food? is it the must-a-must now? let me knooooooooooowwww (where's your mustee?)

Culinarian said...

NO no its the one and only Chippi- I know its hard to believe but when it comes to food he seems to always order the right thing...
It's definately NOT Musty...thats fo sho

Anonymous said...

Ya not me....i was the lucky one who had the shitty canneloni.