Meal of the Month: Moxie the Restaurant

Moxie is a modern, contemporary restaurant focused on exceptional ingredients, a divine dining experience and a place to see and be seen. The upscale-casual establishment is on the east side of Cleveland, in Beachwood.

contents_moxieMoxie is a modern, contemporary restaurant focused on exceptional ingredients, a divine dining experience and a place to see and be seen.

The upscale-casual establishment is on the east side of Cleveland, in Beachwood. Moxie’s eclectic modern theme runs throughout the restaurant from the metal art to the sleek chairs, from the colorful walls of art to the exposed kitchen.

Moxie can seat up to 200 people, but the space is cleverly constructed to feel intimate, not overcrowded. Guests can choose from the swanky lounge, the gardenesque patio or the spacious, yet cozy dining room for their night out.

Exciting ingredients lace the approachable menu, such as harissa butter, gremolata and pepitas; but for the most part, nearly everything on the menu is something you will recognize. While familiar and simple, these components have been coupled together in perfect matrimony.

meal_moxie_bacontoast

Appetizer: 24-hour Bacon Toast ($8.75)

Crunchy, savory-sweet and delicious. Moxie’s 24-hour Bacon Toast graces your mouth with all textures for a complete delight. The thin, crispy sourdough toast is topped with a smear of salty butter, a handful of smashed candylike dates and, of course, thick savory bacon chunks. A sprinkle of sherry vinegar and a small pile of arugula atop the toast mounds balance out the salty, sweet flavors, making this scrumptious and pleasing. The portion of two is just right for sharing.

Other top appetizer options include: cheese board with crusty bread and chutney, drunken mussels in Great Lakes Lager and three oysters with house-made hot sauce.

Salad: Asparagus Salad ($9.75)

“Oh, this thing is healthy?” The thought doesn’t cross your mind as you crunch into the wildly delicious assortment of greens and creamy accompaniments. Chilled asparagus is paired with brightly colored radicchio and arugula for a peppery taste, then topped with rich, crushed hazelnuts and mild goat cheese. It’s kept bright and clean with a fresh, green goddess dressing.

Other top salad options include: marinated kale with shiitakes and parmesan vinaigrette, and iceberg wedge with ader käse blue cheese.

Entrée: Salmon ($26)

Salmon usually is hit or miss, but the salmon at Moxie is an absolute hit … as in, out of the ballpark. The enormous portion is cooked to perfection inside and out; the fresh fish is sautéed skin-on, creating what only can be described as salmon bacon. The crispy outside leads to a tender and flaky inside. With a natural, buttery flavor, the very simple seasonings complement the straightforwardness of the salmon’s quality.

meal_moxie_fritesThe fish sits atop a streak of smoky pepper rouille, and a golden rectangle of light Roman-style gnocchi. The main portion of the dish is garnished with braised beluga lentils and an arugula salad with extra-thin slivers of spicy chorizo. The entree pairs harmoniously with the 2012 Rickshaw chardonnay ($10).

Other top entree options include: sesame tuna with crispy coconut and rice, and moxie burger with frites.

An extensive list of wines by the bottle is available, in addition to more than 18 wines by the glass or half bottle. Not a wino? A handcrafted cocktail list is available, in addition to a crowd-pleasing selection of beers.

As we all know, great food can be spoiled by bad service; you don’t have to worry about that here. Moxie’s service is spot on. The friendly staff is sincere, knowledgeable and attentive to the table. Turnover is so low, they print the names of the entire staff on their menu, which says a lot in the food industry.