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Moxie the Restaurant
3355 Richmond Road
Beachwood, OH 44122
Just returned from another satisfying meal at Moxie...let us share the many reasons why we love this place:
1. Innovative menu that changes often - I love that you can go to Moxie and always find numerous items on the menu that are appealing; the variety is a real plus. They redo their menu often, which keeps your curiosity peaked. The only downside to this is that sometimes you wish you could "get back" some of your favorite dishes. For example, last year the Mushy Peas that accompanied their Salmon were out of this world. They made them with chicken stock and (I believe) Parmesan cheese...I absolutely loved them. I've tried to recreate the dish at home a few times but haven't quite been successful. I'd love to see the Mushy Peas back on the menu (or get their recipe, at the very least).
Props go to chef Jonathan Bennett for the ingenuity, variety and quality he puts into this menu season after season.
My entree was Roasted Duck with Peaches, Spinach (I asked for a substitution from the Mizuna greens for personal preference), ricotta, hazelnuts, vidalia onions and duck confit. This was my first time having duck as an entree and I was extremely pleased. The portions were just right so that I was able to share with my husband and have room for dessert. Mr. Dine O Mite had the spice Rubbed Bell & Evans (B&E) Chicken. He's been on a chicken kick lately, and this was another winning choice, complemented by 24 hour roasted cherry tomatoes & zucchini. We were so impressed by the tomatoes that we plan on picking some up at the farmer's market tomorrow for our own 24 hours roasting experiment!
2. The Energy - This place always has a nice crowd and the atmosphere and look of the room is great. The action in the kitchen is on display, giving you this communal feeling with the production that goes into your meal. You'd never know it from it's location (tucked off a busy street in an office type complex), but Moxie seems to be popular almost any day of the week and there's always been a good crowd of diners when we go.
3. Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff - Service here is never pretentious or pushy. The staff is familiar with what they are serving and are always pleasant. I have no complaints in this department. Note the back of the menu, where they list the names and titles of all of their staff in the righthand margin. A nice touch that gives a nod to everyone who's involved in the operation.
4. The Moxie Burger - Mr. Dine O Mite reports that the Moxie Burger is neck in neck with Players on Madison for the best burger he's had in Cleveland. The Moxie Burger is huge: certified angus beef, topped with adam's reserve cheddar, mesculin, neuske's bacon, tomato, onion and aioli. Plus it comes with a mound of frites and onion rings. Thankfully, this item is a constant on the menu, so season to season, you can rest assured it will be there for you to enjoy.
5. Dessert - Some of the best in town: Tonight it was the Baked Hot Chocolate and the Nutter Butter. Although the Baked Hot Chocolate is a Moxie classic, current pastry chef Kate O'Donnell and her crew are cranking out some of the most satisfying and unique desserts in Cleveland. The labor and complexity of the Nutter Butter makes it a real treat...I can't begin to describe all the components (partly because Mr. Dine O Mite was stingy and didn't share much with me)...you just have to try it and see for yourself. I will give you some hints though, it's richer than it looks and includes peanut butter fudge, milk chocolate and marshmallow fluff (not a ton, just enough on the plate to complement the rest of the dessert).
Moxie continues to please, visit after visit and I'm glad that it's so close to home, it's practically in my back yard. Check out their website, sign up for their newsletter and book your reservation at www.opentable.com.
Update: December 30, 2008
We joined our friends from Buffalo for lunch.
Cal : Moxie Burger, still one of my favorite burgers in Cleveland. No dipping sauces on the lunch burger. Tastes great.
Regina : SLT House Smoked Salmon, Watercress, Tomato, Boursin on Pumpernickel. Available for lunch only, thought it was delicious.
Nutter Butter dessert for take-out. I love this thing.